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  • Chris

Enabling care home staff to better support Marica

Plan with Care provided specialist support when Marica, who has advanced dementia, showed signs of frustration and agitation.

  • Plan with Care work with care homes to improve care for people living with dementia.

  • We have dementia specialist practitioners in our team who can help.

Plan with Care are working with Marica, who has advanced dementia and lives in a care home. She seemed to be showing signs of frustration and agitation. We were keen to explore what was causing this so we could help her carers to better understand her needs.

We asked her attorney to pay for a couple of sessions of Dementia Care Mapping by a specialist practitioner within our team, Rupi. We also liaised with the care home managers for permission to carry out these observations. Rupi visited the care home and observed Marica and her carers for two sessions of around three hours each.

Rupi saw that there was very limited interaction between the staff and residents, and that they were not always respectful to the needs of vulnerable older people. This information was fed back to the managers of the care home, and they made changes to ensure staff were better trained and supported.

On a recent visit our Care and Wellbeing Consultant Neil noticed evidence of improved and positive interactions between staff and residents. Neil observed staff carefully explaining what was going to happen to a resident who was due to have a flu vaccination. He also saw sensitive support for residents who were confused and searching for their belongings.

During this visit, Marica was happy and smiling and chatted whilst looking at pictures of art in a relaxed and comfortable, and ate her snack and drank her tea well. She asked for help from staff and they kindly escorted her from the lounge when she requested this.

The senior member of staff was knowledgeable about Marica’s care needs and supportive to the residents. There seemed to be a much more positive atmosphere than the one observed by Rupi a few months before. One of Marica’s fellow residents even helped Neil to put his coat on as he was leaving which was a kind gesture.

Overall, we felt that by highlighting some aspects of practice which were not respectful or showing understanding and sensitivity to the needs of vulnerable people with dementia that we encouraged the care home managers to respond by looking at their service and

speaking to staff. We strongly felt that this approach had improved attitudes and respect and made the place a more positive environment for their residents.

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