We recognise that our people are far and away our most valuable asset and that our high standards of care can only be met by carefully selected, motivated and able individuals. From our carers and nurses, to our lifestyle coordinators, chefs and maintenance teams, we will go the extra mile to build strong relationships – not just with individuals living in our care homes, but also their friends and family.
Under the guidance of our specialist adviser in mental health and dementia, Dr Nori Graham, we have developed a robust and forward-thinking approach to the delivery of dementia care. As a renowned dementia expert and vice president of the Alzheimer’s Society, Dr Graham’s contribution to our dementia strategy has been invaluable in bringing great benefits to the individuals in our care.
We also work very closely with the Association for Dementia Studies at the University of Worcester, who have helped us develop and deliver Fulfilling lives– a bespoke training programme that will ultimately reach every one of our 9,000 employees.
We are committed to providing award-winning dementia training for all the people who work in our care homes and day centres so that they have an understanding of what it might be like to live with dementia, including the physical, visual and hearing challenges that the illness poses.
Our dementia training helps care staff to put themselves in the shoes of someone living with dementia. If a person truly believes, for example, that they need to catch a bus or collect the children from school, colleagues are encouraged to support them through this conversation and to help them feel understood in the here and now.
Appleby has taught me so much about dementia care, mostly from watching the way the staff talk to residents and treat them with the greatest dignity and respect. My entire mindset about dementia has changed, and the stigma attached to it has been removed for me.Daughter of a resident, Appleby House
Our Approach to Care Leads are also trained to identify dementia signs, such as ‘walking with purpose’, sometimes referred to as wandering, and to support residents showing these signs with meaningful activities.
The training we provide ensures care professionals know how to respond to residents effectively, not only so they can keep residents safe and healthy, but also so they can help individuals in the care home live life to the full and continue to have meaningful relationships.
Colleagues can also pass on dementia training to friends and family to enable them to understand more about the condition and to help them communicate effectively with their loved one. For instance, our team members can offer tips for calming an individual who has become agitated or navigating a tough conversation with a loved one living with dementia.
Our homes also offer dementia cafes and events to help families and friends going through similar situations to connect.
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Explore more tips about caring for a loved one with dementia in our help and advice articles.Read more
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Dementia training involves preparing colleagues to recognise the signs and symptoms of dementia and how to meet residents’ needs.
Any task of a personal nature that residents with dementia need assistance with falls under the personal care umbrella. This can include bathing, dressing and more.