Following Dementia Action Week (13-19 May), one of the UK’s largest care home providers has highlighted the measures it deploys to ensure that it best meets the needs of residents with dementia. The Care Home Environment reports that Care UK have unveiled details of an accreditation scheme called Care Fit for VIPs.

Suzanne Mumford, Care UK’s head of nursing, care and dementia, said: “The Care Fit for VIPs framework has been transformational for the homes who have completed it and received their internal Care UK accreditation.”

The model was created by Emeritus Professor Dawn Brooker at the Association of Dementia Studies (ADS) at the University of Worcester, and is embedded in the NICE guidelines for person-centred care. This approach is considered central to high standards of healthcare services, and the principle is to give people greater control over their own health. 

For example, people with cognitive impairments or sensory loss may need additional time and assistance with communication and greater levels of emotional support, as well as a high level of assistance with everyday tasks such as washing, dressing, eating and drinking. 

Dementia patients may also require specific environmental adaptations to make their daily lived experience less challenging. For example, these may include well-lit areas that are neither too bright nor too dim; clear signage with bold type-faces that do not feature abstract icons, and are placed at eye-level on the door, rather than adjacent to it. 

Flooring should be plain or mottled, rather than feature bold patterns or shiny reflective surfaces. There should be no slip or trip hazards such as smooth surfaces or steps if possible. The care home environment should be easy to navigate with clear landmarks, and should have quiet spaces where an anxious or confused person can retreat to. 

It’s estimated that one in three people in the UK will develop dementia at some stage in their lives, and yet unfortunately there is still a lot of fear, stigma, and misunderstanding around the condition. It’s estimated that about a third of people with dementia will need residential nursing care, and dementia patients make up two-thirds of all care home residents in the UK.

Speaking further about the measures Care UK have introduced, Mumford added: “We will continue to enrol homes onto this programme, so that we know, without a doubt, we are delivering the gold-standard of person-centred dementia care across our homes.”

“The Care Fit for VIPs approach centres around four key aspects: valuing those living with dementia, treating everyone as an individual, showing empathy towards those living with the condition, and recognising the need for a stimulating social environment.”

“We know that our homes abide by these values in their day-to-day care of residents, but it has been crucial to reaffirm Care UK’s dedication to person-centred care, particularly for those living with dementia.”

The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, which is a terminal condition that eventually robs the person of their ability to communicate or take care of themselves. 

2024-05-29T10:19:39+00:00May 29th, 2024|Blog|
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