A care home group is enrolling staff in innovative, experiential training designed to put them in the same position as those living with the condition.
Wellbeing Care, a family-run group of care services has enrolled staff in a revolutionary new training programme designed to enable participants to understand how to communicate with people living with dementia and to recognise behaviours that are often a way of telling them something.
The ‘Dementia Interpreter’ course works by placing people in the same situation as those living with dementia. By slowly taking away their ability to speak, see, hear, and even use body language, participants are forced to find new ways to communicate. In the process, participants experience first-hand the isolation, frustration and anxiety often felt by those living with dementia – and they start to mirror the way they communicate without realising. By spending some time in their world, delegates complete the course with an increased understanding of dementia’s impact and a heightened sense of empathy for those affected.
Amongst the first to undertake training was Joy Henshaw, Registered Operations Manager at Wellbeing Care. Joy’s day-to-day job role entails overseeing budgets, conducting audits and preparing care training and its subsequent implementation across the services, whilst additionally overseeing training practices for all services to maintain compliance.
With her newly acquired Dementia Interpreter qualification, Joy will be responsible for training staff across each of Wellbeing Care’s homes, helping to drive improvements across the group’s dementia services. An example of the team’s collaborative nature, the eventual aim is that all 153 staff members at Wellbeing Care will be qualified Dementia Interpreter upon completion of training. They can then utilise the skills and knowledge acquired through this course to deliver exceptional, empathetic dementia care to residents.
Speaking of her participation in the course, Joy said: “Training as a Dementia Interpreter for Wellbeing Care was an informative and humbling experience. The course has helped me develop a much deeper understanding of how those living with dementia must feel and the subsequent impact on their behaviour. I believe this training will result in improved services to the provision of care we give to those who are living with this condition daily and I can’t wait to share my newfound knowledge with the rest of the team.”