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New Dementia Care Framework for NI homes

Three local care homes in Belfast and Downpatrick are among the first to be accredited for a new pioneering dementia care approach.

The care teams at Four Seasons Health Care homes in Tennent Street and Parkview, Belfast and Lecale Lodge care homes in Downpatrick are celebrating being among the first in the UK to be accredited for a new and radically different approach to dementia care. These homes will now deliver their care within the new Dementia Care Framework.

The Framework is a unique step forward in the personalisation of care for people living with dementia. The care team uses exclusive purpose-designed technology to help build and continuously update a picture of each resident’s individual experience of their care and their physical, psychological and emotional well being, so that their care can be adjusted to take account of their changing needs.

The 3 Four Seasons homes held events for care commissioners, other health and social care professionals and families of those living with dementia to introduce the Dementia Care Framework to them. Linda Robinson from Age NI was among the guests at an event in the Parkview home in Glencairn.

Carol Cousins, Managing Director for Northern Ireland, said: “This is next generation dementia care and which will make life better for the person with dementia and we are excited to be the first homes to offer it in Northern Ireland. A vital part of the Framework is the bespoke support and training the team throughout the home receives with additional support and training for those working within our dementia services. This goes beyond the practicalities of caring for someone with dementia and through simulation gives them a deeper understanding of what it is like to live with dementia.

“We are on track to roll out the new Framework across our 38 dementia homes before the end of this year.”

In addition to the support and training, there are three additional components to the Dementia Care Framework – personal care reviews, Resident and Family Charters.

At the heart of the Dementia Care Framework is a personal care review process which is continuously updated electronically by care staff to give a comprehensive and current picture of each resident. Thought to be the first of its type worldwide, it is based on 320 recognised standards, including NICE Guidelines (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) and Alzheimer’s Society best practice guidance. It replaces paper-based audits that are slow and almost always behind the changing care needs of the person.

The resident and family charters were developed in consultation with residents, family members, health and social care professionals and care teams, taking account of over 400 comments. The resident charter sets out their rights, the standards of care they can expect and commitment to provide for their personal needs and preferences. The family charter, sets out the support that they can expect to receive and how they can input to planning their relative’s care.

Only when a home achieves key standards within the Dementia Care Framework does it receive Four Seasons Accreditation for the quality of its dementia care.

To find out more about this fundamentally different approach to dementia care please visit www.fshc.co.uk/dementia-care/


Marie-Louise Connolly, a journalist with BBC Northern Ireland took part in the dementia experience at Parkview Care Home in Belfast. Read her thoughts on the BBC website here.

Date published: 15 September 2017

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