Upon meeting to establish new training requirements for Shaw healthcare’s Sycamore Lodge in Bristol, Caroline and Richard quickly established they had common ground in coping with dementia in their families.
Both had the responsibility of caring for a parent who presented symptoms of dementia, tales of how incidents had tested relationships, put pressures on their own personal lives and they agreed their personal journeys would have been easier if they knew then what they do now.
They then had their eureka moment and started compiling a training package that could be delivered to residents’ families; a first in the care industry. They tasked themselves with creating a short informal session that would impart industry best practice in a contextual and personalised manner. The course content would give attendees a new insight and approach to what dementia is, how it affects individuals with dementia and those supporting them, plus a hand full of tips designed to create more positive and supportive interactions.
The first courses were rolled out in Sycamore Lodge and the results have been extremely pleasing. One employee commented: “There is a very positive buzz amongst the relatives at the moment and they are asking for more training around positive interactions and how to turn negative emotions into positive ones. We’re also finding that the service users are more relaxed.”
One relative commented: “The course has helped me to come to terms with the fact that I won’t get my old Mum back and to value the time I have with her now.”
Local commissioners love the courses which are unique to Shaw, who are planning to roll out the course across all dementia services.