As part of World Alzheimer’s Day, we interview one of our care homes, Riverdale Care Home, based in Braintree, Essex, to see how they make sure that their residents live well with dementia. One effective therapy that the team at Riverdale often use for residents living with dementia is ‘A Day in The Life of History,’. The therapy session involves a group of residents and carers discussing a topic, encouraging them to tap into their long-term memory. It has proven successful, with Roland, a resident who is currently living with advanced dementia, remembering a key part of his life. One morning, a group of carers and residents had been discussing the topic of farms in the lounge area, when Roland walked off and went to his room, later returning with a photo of his two donkeys, Daphne and Bluebell. Once safe to do so, his daughter plans to bring the two donkeys over to Riverdale to visit Roland and other residents. Arts and Crafts People living with dementia, use painting and drawing pictures as a way to express their emotions. One resident at Riverdale now has their own easel and is often caught painting somewhere in the building. She also proudly showcases her artwork along the walls of the home. Painting is something that the resident had always been fond of, even before her life at Riverdale Care Home, and the staff has always encouraged her to continue with her passion. She now even leads a class, teaching other residents to express themselves through the art of painting. One-to-One Sessions It’s important to interact on a one-to-one level, to discuss their life stories, and to begin piecing together a background story of the person. These aides the carers to build a more informative portfolio, gaining a more in-depth understanding of the resident’s needs. Ron, another resident who was staying at Riverdale Care Home, would wake early at 4 am, and the team of carers couldn’t understand why. After a few one-to-one discussions between the carers and Ron, they discovered that Ron had previously worked as a Postman. The team decided to buy Ron a satchel, and every morning, he would distribute the mail, daily, to the other residents. The team at Riverdale create memory books for each of the residents, collating pictures, and information, about their family and friends. Not only does this help the residents to revive their own memories, but it also educates the staff member who they are caring for, understanding the residents’ needs, and ultimately, creating a personalised care plan. If you are interested in finding out how Riverdale Care Home can support you or your loved one, please click here, or call 01376 349 643.
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