Professor Martin Green, OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, today visited Mayflower Care Home to find out more about the home’s approach to dementia care and to present achievement certificates to staff.
The Gravesend care home has pioneered new ways of looking after residents who have the condition. Dementia manifests as a progressive deterioration in mental powers, together with changes in personality and behaviour. Mayflower is one of 12 Canford Healthcare-owned homes to receive specialist training designed to support the achievement of best practice and leadership in dementia care. Everyone within the home receives the training – from kitchen and domestic staff through to carers and nurses – to ensure continuity of practice and understanding of the challenges faced by residents on a daily basis.
Apart from the training, the two main strands of the dementia strategy are nutrition and wellness – both of which present significant challenges to carers. In terms of nutrition, residents with dementia frequently lose weight and muscle mass, especially if they have swallowing problems. We have worked with Caterplus, our catering supplier, on better menu formulation and the introduction of colour-coded serving utensils to facilitate more balanced and accurate individual portion control. This is supplemented by sweet and savoury snacks in containers called Grazeboxes. These are important to residents who prefer to graze throughout the day rather than eating a full meal.
To keep residents active and engaged, we offer a varied programme of activities every morning and afternoon, seven days a week. We work with activities expert Oomph to ensure that our activities – within the home and day trips out – are both meaningful and enjoyable.
During his visit, Professor Green toured the home with Laird MacKay, Canford Healthcare’s Chief Operating Officer and Wendy Rivett, the home’s Deputy Manager. He talked to residents and staff, sampled Grazebox snacks, saw meals served up using the portion control utensils and also the home’s wellness programme. He also presented certificates to four new Assistant Practitioners and to members of staff who have been through the Dementia Training.
Nicola Bundock, Mayflower’s Home Manager, said: “At Mayflower, we aim to lead the way and provide the best possible care for our residents with dementia. This means offering person-centred care – ensuring that they get the right nutritional balance for them each day and having the opportunity to participate in varied and engaging activities.”
Professor Green said: “I am delighted to have had the opportunity to visit Mayflower Care Home. Their innovative approach towards people living with dementia is working well; staff have put into practice all their learning, with the end result being that residents are extremely well looked after. Dementia can be a very challenging condition and such person-centred care is leading the way.
With a forthcoming general election, Care England has put forward its case for the long-term stability of the social care sector. All parties need to recognise that the sector is brimming with innovation, energy and commitment which needs to be harnessed by an incoming Government into a long-term plan.”