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Local volunteers experience what it’s like to live with dementia

Local volunteers and two Vicars from Rochester have been given a simulated experience of dementia to increase their understanding of the condition and empathy for people who are living with it. The dementia experience was run in Copper Beeches by care home operator Four Seasons Health Care who are leading providers of specialist dementia care.

Gabriele Jerome, Copper Beeches Care Home Manager, who arranged for the dementia experience sessions, said: “With the increasing incidence of dementia, as people are living longer, it is important to promote public understanding of the condition, to support people who are living with it to lead happy and reasonably independent lives and to remain an active part of their community for as long as possible. We’re delighted that local volunteers and two Vicars who come to the home regularly wanted to take part in the experience.”

The Four Seasons Dementia Experience, which gives participants a sense of what living with dementia, might be like. It simulates the sensory and cognitive impairments and the associated frustrations and emotional effects.

Gabriele Jerome, Home Manager, added: “The experience was a real success, with people saying that they’ve had their eyes opened to what it’s like living with dementia. We’ve been asked to deliver these sessions to the local Youth Project and the dementia café to help spread the word and raise awareness.”

The Dementia Experience is part of the support and development all Four Seasons colleagues receive as part of its new generation of dementia care called the Dementia Care Framework. This pioneering approach is a unique step forward in the personalisation of care for people living with dementia. It builds on accepted best practice and uses advanced technology to support care teams to build and continuously update a picture of each resident’s physical, clinical, psychological and emotional well-being and their day to day experiences so that their care can be adjusted to their changing needs. It encompasses 320 recognised standards, including NICE Guidelines and Alzheimer’s Society best practice – and it’s thought to be world first

The Dementia Care Framework also includes resident and family charters. The resident charter sets out their rights, the standards of care they can expect and our 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. They were produced following a consultation exercise that resulted in over 450 comments from residents, family members, health and social care professionals and care teams.

Date published: 15 September 2017

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