Design, Future of Care, Property Development

Innovation in care – Our visit to Holland

When you’re operating in a sector like ours it’s important that you continue to move with the times. Ongoing research means that our sector is constantly changing. If you want to be the best, then you need to have an element of fluidity. That’s why our senior teams are always looking for shining examples of amazing care.

This month we visited the Hogeweyk Care Centre in Amsterdam. In Dutch a weyk is a group of houses similar to a village, and that is exactly what this care centre is. It has 23 houses for 152 seniors suffering from dementia, who all need nursing home facilities and live in houses differentiated by lifestyle. The residents manage their own households every say with a constant team of staff members.

There’s a supermarket in the village, as well as streets, squares, gardens and a park, which the residents can safely roam free. Residents here have maximum privacy and autonomy.

Just like any village, Hogeweyk has a selection of facilities including a restaurant, bar and theatre. Residents from surrounding neighbourhoods are permitted to use these facilities as well.

It sounds amazing, doesn’t it? But it gets better. Prior to admission each resident undertake and assessment to ascertain their lifestyle choices and depending on the outcome they are housed with likeminded residents. This is incredibly important, because it will have a vital impact on the happiness of residents in the village. Housing residents with likeminded people is an absolute dream.

There’s only space for seven people per home, so relatives know their loved ones are receiving all of the care, love and attention they need, with staff who are not overstretched and who know the specific care requirements and personalities of all residents.

It was an amazing place to visit and it gave us some great ideas about how we can apply some of the techniques and uses of space we saw here at Peverel Court Care. We’re already making steps towards improving our garden areas, making sure they are safe and seamless for our dementia suffers to use by removing any abrupt endings to pathways and that our transition from inside to outside is much more fluid.

In our effort constantly increase our environment for dementia patients, we’ll certainly be drawing on our experiences from The Hogeweyk in meetings and brainstorming sessions well into the future.

Care & Technology, Design, Tech

The importance of the digital age and how it helps our residents

Twenty years ago the whole world looked very different than it does today. So did nursing care and the residential care sector. When people chose to go into care in the 90s the technology we view as basic today was extremely expensive and difficult to procure on a mass scale in the way we can in this more modern age.

Our residents are used to using technology to explore what’s happening in the world and to keep in touch with those they love. Before they came to us, many of them regularly used technology like telephones or computers to communicate or entertain themselves.

It’s important to us that we make sure those who live with us still have access to these items, and that they can use them in the way they want to. That’s why our individual care plans include asking our residents which forms of technology they would appreciate having access to. One of the main items of technology our residents insist upon is a telephone.

At Peverel Court Care, we don’t think it’s enough to simply give all of our residents a telephone. Some of them don’t have the strength to use a phone without help. Often they no longer have the capacity because of illnesses like dementia or Alzheimer’s, or visual or hearing impairments. That’s why we tailor the telephone experience for everyone living in all three of our care homes.

Several of our residents have mobile phones they use to keep in touch with their families. But we don’t just give those we care for a mobile phone and expect them to get on with using it. General usage, maintenance and charging of mobile phones is overseen with the assistance of our dedicated care teams.

Our staff know the capacity of each and every one of our residents. They know if someone we care for understands how to use their phone but struggles to answer it, or if their conditions prevent them from hearing their phones ringing properly. We have a solution for these types of issues. For example, sometimes we ask our family members and friends to call our care home landline in advance of ringing a residents mobile phone so that we can go and help them to answer.

Not everyone likes mobile technology. Four of our residents have chosen to have a landline telephone in their room instead. With the assistance of their families, our care staff have programmed their most regularly used numbers into their speed dial selections, making it as easy as possible for them to contact those they love.

When people come to live at Stone House, Merryfield and Bartlett’s we want them to have all of the same opportunities that they have in their own home, and that includes the opportunity to contact those they love whenever they want to. We do everything within our power to make sure this possible, even funding landlines ourselves. For those we care for we know that nothing is more important than contacting those they care about, and if it’s important to them, it’s important to us.

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