At Catholic Care we offer Inclusive “Dementia friendly” services for older people
All the community groups and activities we run for older people at Catholic Care are inclusive of all denominations and welcome people who live with dementia. People whose lives are touched by dementia are supported by their friends and family to attend the various luncheon clubs and exercise classes we run in a number of local communities. After a period of ‘settling in’ the family members leave to have a bit of valuable time to themselves before returning. We have been told that this respite time has been very much appreciated.
We are aware that people with dementia can have difficulty with: remembering what they are doing; finding the right word for something; recollecting names and faces; understanding instructions; getting around in new and confusing environments.
With these things in mind, we welcome people when they arrive, making it easier for people to know who can help them. Everyone is greeted warmly and with a smile, ensuring we make eye contact; we use a friendly tone of voice, speaking clearly and slowly so allowing people time to understand what is being said. We listen carefully to what people say and give plenty of encouragement, we have rooms set out in a welcoming way, making it easier for people to get around and, where possible, we try to keep things the same because we are aware that change can be confusing. We also have somewhere people can sit that is quieter if they need a break. We support people in a non intrusive way, encouraging ability whilst it is still present, but ensuring that any support given is not overtly obvious.
We have experienced great acceptance from other group members who have become, for want of a better word, quite ‘protective’ of the person.
All our activities are supported by the Domiciliary Care Team who are on hand to support either the person living with dementia or their carer. We work closely with professional agencies who can offer additional advise and support where necessary..