Dementia, Personalisation, Training & Development, Workforce Development

The Importance Of Friendship At Peverel Court Care

After family, friends are usually the most important people in our lives. Modern family life can often mean our loved ones are geographically spread across the country. When we are older our children will likely have their own very busy lives to run. All of this may mean that they can’t see us as often as they would like and this is when our friendships become even more important. Friends are the family we choose for ourselves. They support us in times of need. Often just knowing that they are there for us is enough to make us feel better.

Think about some of the best times you have ever had in your life. Undoubtedly some of those times will have taken place in the presence of friends.

They’re there for us in the best and worst of times. That’s why we foster and value friendships between our residents and carers at Peverel Court Care. Here are some of the reasons we think friendships here are so incredibly important.

Friendship helps our staff do their jobs better…

The main purpose of any staff member here at Peverel Court Care is to provide high-quality care to the elderly people who live here. Friendships help our staff to do that.

“I do consider myself to be a friend to them because I feel it from my own heart.  I could not do the job that I do, which is quite solitary at times in the lounges, without having those genuine emotional feelings towards our residents.” – Peverel Court Care Carer

When you offer the kind of comprehensive care we offer, it helps greatly if you have a genuine relationship with the people you are caring for. If you feel as though the person you’re taking care of is your friend, you are much more likely to give the best care you can at all times.

Some of our residents here are uncomfortable in social situations…

Some of our residents just can’t bring themselves to join in with the group activities we offer here. Some of them just don’t want to. For these individuals, the carers visiting their rooms are the only people they see all day. Those interactions need to be friendly otherwise those people are going to feel incredibly isolated.

Some of our residents don’t have anyone else…

Our job is to make sure that those who live with us have a high quality of life. For residents without family or friends of their own left, it is important that they feel as though they have valuable and important relationships with our carers. We don’t just want them to feel cared for; we also want them to feel cared about. We can’t give our residents the high-quality care we are striving for unless people really do care about them as individuals.

It’s important for dementia and Alzheimer’s patients…

We can’t sum this up any better than one of our carers did when we asked her about genuine friendships at work.

“There have been many times when a resident has literally poured their heart out to me with real visual emotion in their expression or body language or chatted away to me ten to the dozen smiling and laughing. Sometimes I have not been able to understand what they are saying. It is so important to maintain an interest, give direct eye contact, verbalise laughter and support, handhold if appropriate and show a keen interest in what they are saying. That is friendship. That is caring. No matter how severe the level of dementia or Alzheimer’s may be, they will know if we are not responding to their needs at that time. As human beings, we would offer this support to our own friends. If we didn’t then they would not share their problems with us again. To give great care, we need to offer this level of support and friendship.”

It’s in our nature and good for our mental health….

The Mental Health Foundation says that friendship is vital for mental health.

“Friendship is a crucial element in protecting our mental health. We need to talk to our friends and we want to listen when our friends want to talk to us. Our friends can keep us grounded and can help us get things in perspective. It is worth putting effort into maintaining our friendships and making new friends. Friends form one of the foundations of our ability to cope with the problems that life throws at us.”

For the mental health of our residents, it is vitally important that we foster meaningful and fulfilling friendships with our residents.

We’re all about friendship

Being around strong, meaningful friendships makes Peverel Court Care a happy place to be. There is an atmosphere of genuine care here because our carers really do hold our residents’ dear and they want to make sure they are doing the best for them. Sometimes when we are faced with difficult situations or sadness, those friendships can make our jobs more difficult, but still, we wouldn’t have it any other way. Friendship in care is the way forward. As they say; “When it hurts to look back and you’re scared to look ahead, you can look beside you and your friends will be there.”

Care Management, Dementia

Dementia Care – The Peverel Court Care Commitment

Some of the brightest scientific minds have dedicated almost 100 years to researching Alzheimer’s. Billions of pounds has been spent, but little has changed for patients since Alois Alzheimer first began investigating in 1901. Alzheimer’s and dementia are more prevalent now than ever before because of modern medicine and resulting ageing population.

There are advantages and disadvantages to this. The disadvantage is that modern medicine and the resulting aging population means that more people need to face living with this terrible illness. The advantage is that the increase in cases means the microscope is honing in on a cure, preventative methods and ways to make life easier for those who are affected. Though it seems as though the illness has come from nowhere, scientists have actually been fighting to cure it for a century.

At the moment it’s making life easier we are interested in at Peverel Court Care. This is our way of battling dementia. We are committed to do everything we can to make sure our resident’s with dementia have the best quality of life available.

We recently invested in a dementia simulation tour bus to visit all three of our homes. It’s already visited Bartlett’s and next month it will make its way to Stone House and Merryfield. The bus was with us all day and could be experienced by three people at a time. Participants wear headphones, special glasses, special gloves and footwear and asked to complete simple tasks in a darkened room. The bus helps our staff and relatives to feel what it’s like to have dementia. We believe that this will help our staff to understand what it’s like to have dementia. We want them to remember this experience whenever they’re giving someone with dementia care and support.  We have also invited relatives and the local community to attend.

We are dedicated to making sure that dementia does not define the lives of our residents. We want them to be able to do everything everyone else can do. That’s why we designed our new Hambledon Wing in a manner that means residents with dementia can come in and out of the building easily, something that they struggle with if special elements are not in place, such as fluidity between the inside and outside and flowing paths without dead ends.

We are also committed to the training of our staff. We stay on top of developments regarding dementia and make sure our staff are up-to-date and fully trained.

Dementia does not mean the end of a life it’s just the beginning of a new phase. By fully training our teams and raising awareness we are focusing on making life easier for those struggling with this disease every single day.

Dementia, Health and Safety, Mental Capacity Act

That extra bit of health and safety

The people who live with us at Peverel Court Care are vulnerable and relying on us. These individuals often have limited sight or hearing capacity and difficulty moving. Our residents with dementia and Alzheimer’s are often easily confused or frightened. In a place where there are so many people who need extra help and support, health and safety must be prioritised.

Adhering to health and safety best practice means doing everything in our power to make sure that potential threats to our residents are taken care of, reducing the risk of injury as far as we possibly can. Some care homes use guidance from the Care Quality Commission or other third parties as their health and safety guidance. At Peverel Court Care, we’ve gone one step further.

We want our residents and their families to feel secure when they’re with us, so we recently invested in an external health and safety company to train our management teams in all three of our homes. The training was delivered by a care home expert and was put together by individuals with experience working with the elderly and vulnerable. Part of our training involved visiting areas of our care homes and identifying potential risks, as well as suggesting with our risk assessor how we can limit potential danger.

All three of our management teams are now trained in health and safety around dementia awareness, emergency first aid, falls awareness, food safety, fire safety, infection control and lone working awareness. They’ve also completed training in medication awareness, the Mental Capacity Act, deprivation of liberty, safeguarding vulnerable adults, stress awareness and the moving and handling of people. It was a busy training programme, but enjoyed by all, and it taught our staff some important lessons about scenarios they face every day that might pose a health and safety risk to themselves or to one of our residents.

When the Care Quality Commission inspects a care home, one of the five key questions they ask is around safety. They want to know that residents are safe from abuse and avoidable harm. One of our priorities at Peverel Court Care is to be rated ‘outstanding’ by the CQC across all five categories, but the emphasis that should be placed on health and safety as an individual aspect of care delivery is never lost on us.  If something goes wrong in this category, it can be the difference between life and death. For this reason, health and safety is part of our ongoing, high quality care and support packages, embedded in our day-to-day practice and introduced at induction to new staff. The health and safety of our residents in paramount, and we’ll continuously recognise that it’s something every single one of us here is responsible for, making that extra effort and going above and beyond to make sure we’re meeting, if not exceeding, all health and safety requirements.

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