Dunkirk Memorial House in Taunton has received a top award for its dementia care.

The Royal British Legion home has been awarded Butterfly status and has also been classed as a top ‘Level 1’ site in recognition of its “exceptional person-centred dementia care” by dementia care culture change organisation Dementia Care Matters.

Anne Lewin, Manager of Dunkirk Memorial House, said: “We are all so proud of what we have achieved. Following the audit visit, we were told we had received the highest rating.

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“From a personal view the project [introducing the butterfly model] has been very challenging but also rewarding. We have seen some of our staff shine like stars in the way they provide truly exceptional standards of care meeting the emotional and physical needs of their residents.”

Dementia Care Matters’ Butterfly project is a year-long process, involving staff training. The staff and management team look at the environment and the way in which care is provided to ensure that the resident’s emotional needs are fully met and that their lives are full of purpose being occupied and feeling part of a family community.

A large central area of the home was divided to provide a more homely, comfortable and colourful seating area featuring lots of items to stimulate conversation and enjoyment.

Three corridors were transformed into small ‘household’ areas to allow a degree of ownership and pride for the residents. In consultation with residents, staff chose colour schemes for different areas with many giving up their own time to help to paint and decorate.

Staff were trained to find out about each residents’ life story to help them create memory boxes. Staff changed activities from a formal structured programme of large activities to a system where residents themselves help out with household chores such as cooking and cleaning, laying the table and helping in the garden – as well as singing and dancing.

Tags : national dementia care awardsThe Royal British Legion

The author Lee Peart

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