September is World Alzheimer’s Month – an international campaign to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s and challenge stigma associated with the condition. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia which affects memory, thinking, problem solving and language.
Greensleeves Care, a national care charity, has responded to this challenge by introducing a dementia service at all its care homes including Borovere in Alton. As part of its dementia service, the charity has changed the way it recruits and trains its staff and has created a dementia friendly culture within all its care homes. The care provided to residents is based on the principles of ‘personhood’ by Dr Tom Kitwood. He identified that all human beings have the need for comfort, attachment, inclusion, occupation and identity. These needs are even more significant for those living with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia.
At Borovere care home, which supports people with early onset dementia, the residents become engaged with life at the home which helps to give them a sense of purpose. Some residents particularly enjoy gardening and find working with their hands therapeutic and soothing. An extra benefit is seeing the flowers they planted grow and blossom, giving the residents a sense of achievement.
Karen Shepperdson, Home Manager at Borovere said: “Our residents play a big and important part in the life of the home. We encourage the residents to take up activities which they enjoy and which they may have participated in before they came to Borovere, including gardening. It gives us all a real joy to see the smiles and happiness on the residents’ faces when they complete a task they particularly enjoy such as planting colourful flowers for our new patio.”
In addition to supporting residents with dementia at the care home, Borovere opened its doors to the local Alzheimer’s Society and will host their Quiz Night at the care home.