At Speirs House staff approach each person’s needs individually and according to their preferences to ensure they receive the best possible care. This helps to build a trust between carers and residents, improve communication and make residents feel emotionally and physically safe. As some residents living with dementia find it difficult to express themselves, staff have been coached in reading body language of the residents to give them a better understanding of residents’ feelings and needs.

There are numerous activities run at the home including: relaxing massage and pampering, puzzles, quizzes, exercise classes, carpet bowls, concerts, outings, walks in the garden and other spontaneous games and fun pursuits. These activities help in achieving an increased sense of well-being, improved concentration, and enjoyment. One-to-one activities which are linked to a clear goal can be particularly beneficial to residents living with dementia. Reminiscence groups can be a pleasant and useful activity. Identifying the times to run meaningful activities is often as important as the activities themselves

Heather Said, Home Manager of Speirs House, commented: “We need to make every effort to see the world from a person living with dementia’s perspective. Holistic and person-centred care is key. If we try to meet basic needs and explore potential reasons for specific behaviours (that we could sometimes find challenging) in an individual way, some distress could be prevented or alleviated. Also, being familiar with the life story of our residents could help staff to see the ‘whole person’ and therefore better meet needs.”