Relatives who provide care for loved ones with dementia were given a valuable insight into the condition at Crowborough‘s newest residential and nursing home on Thursday.
Care UK‘s Experience Dementia‘ event at Heather View, Crowborough, was timed to take place during Dementia Awareness Week (3-9 July), an important national initiative to raise awareness of the condition.
The day‘s demonstrations were based on the groundbreaking dementia training Care UK provides for its care staff, which helps them to increase their knowledge and understanding of the condition by giving them the opportunity to experience firsthand its associated sense of frustration, confusion, and loss of control.
According to Care UK‘s dementia specialist, Maizie Mears-Owen, the day proved very beneficial to the people who came along, and left them with a greater empathy for the people they care for. It also provided them with a valuable opportunity to meet other carers, to ask questions and to tour the brand-new home.
“During the training, I use a variety of methods to help people appreciate the possible challenges faced by those with dementia,” said Maizie. “For example, goggles that distort vision, gloves that reduce the sense of touch, and loud white noise – all of these help to evoke the feelings of what it might be like to have dementia. Our training has proven that when we experience these feelings ourselves, we‘re able to understand the people we care for much better and can be ultimately more patient and understanding.”
Heather View, which will open on 1st August, is the first of at least 30 new homes being built by Care UK over the next five years. It has been purpose-built with comfort, security, and accessibility in mind and features specially commissioned furniture, uncluttered and easy to navigate room layouts, clear signage, plenty of natural light, gardens, themed rooms, and reminiscence areas – all particularly important design features for those with dementia.
Around two-thirds of all the people cared for in Care UK‘s 60 nursing and residential care homes around the country have Alzheimer‘s disease or other forms of dementia, and the company is passionately committed to carrying out research and development that will specifically improve the daily lives of people with this condition.