Charitable organisations, relatives, students and members of the community have praised L’Hermitage and Beaumont Villa, both located in the same retirement village in Jersey, for sharing knowledge of dementia with the community through two special events held at the care home recently, with more regular drop-in café sessions to follow.
One of the two dementia awareness events that took place at the home was aimed at helping family members of those living with dementia, while the other targeted colleagues, dietitian students and relatives of residents.
The events aim to give participants an in-depth understanding of, and empathy for the psychological needs of a person with dementia and are based on Caring Homes’ in-house dementia training programme, ‘Living in My World’, which has won a prestigious Princess Royal Training Award. There were hints and tips to improve communication and a practical session to understand some of the day-to-day frustrations that affect a person living with dementia.
One guest commented: “We found the dementia presentation very relevant, informative and insightful. The food presentation was also fascinating, particularly around how to stimulate the senses. The use of moulds was very clever.”
Food is a big part of life at L’Hermitage and Beaumont Villa. The ‘Food in My World’ training, accredited by City and Guilds, develops the hospitality team and chefs’ skills and knowledge to stimulate senses and increase creativity in the cooking and presentation of food. This provides a much improved, dining experience for residents living with dementia and or dysphagia and the home was delighted to be joined for the event by Steve Harding, Caring Homes’ award-winning chef to share his expertise in this area.
Guests also enjoyed the experiential element where they discovered first hand how a person living with dementia may experience the world. On entering a darkened room with glasses and gloves guests were invited to complete everyday tasks such as tying shoe laces, completing buttons on a shirt and pairing up socks from a daily wash, and in so doing recognise the difficulties and frustrations that everyday jobs present.
Colleagues at the home are keen to continue the momentum with the chefs’ training and raising awareness of how those living with dementia experience the world and become a valuable support network not only for the residents living at Beaumont Villa but for relatives, carers and those in the wider community.
Michele Saunders, Caring Homes’ My World Dementia Strategy, Project Lead presented and said, “I really enjoy delivering these dementia events and with the aid of practical training it helps raise awareness, increases empathy and knowledge which is so important within the community. By educating everyone about dementia we can help empower those living with dementia every day to live a good life that has a real purpose and meaning and for me that is everything.”
Following these two launch events Dementia Café evenings will also now run on the last Friday of the month, providing informal support and helpful information for members of the community, with light refreshments being served throughout.