Thamesmead Care Home Achieves Silver PEARL Standard For Specialist Dementia Care

Marlborough-Court-Care-HomeMarlborough Court Care Home in Thamesmead has achieved silver standard accreditation as a provider of an award winning specialist dementia care programme.

The pioneering PEARL (Positively Enhancing and Enriching Residents’ Lives) dementia care programme was developed by leading independent health and social care provider Four Seasons, which owns Marlborough Court.

The home achieved its accreditation after staff successfully completed a rigorous training programme culminating in an unannounced inspection of the home.

It is estimated that 2,012 people live with dementia in Greenwich and overall some 856,700 people across the UK. This is projected to grow by up to 40% within the next 15 years.

PEARL has achieved dramatic reductions in the need for medications and a corresponding improvement in the wellbeing of people with dementia.

There are concerns that people with dementia are too often prescribed medications known to help manage the symptoms when they show distress reactions and reduction of over-prescribing has become a government priority.

Studies of people cared for in homes which are part of the PEARL programme showed a reduction averaging 48% in the requirement for particular medications, together with dramatic reductions in use of other medications to alleviate anxiety (40%) and help with sleep (44%).

Most importantly, an increase in wellbeing was measured among 46% of people.

A key aspect of PEARL has been to identify new ways of thinking about dementia and challenging the mindset that someone with dementia may be seen as disabled or dysfunctional.

As a result, PEARL involves training in dementia care mapping and person-focused treatment. Key elements of the programme are that staff recognise and respond to the holistic needs of people, develop ways of engaging with residents and the creation of a sensory enhancing environment. The dementia care programme has won numerous awards including from The Improvement Foundation for its pioneering excellence.

Maggie Candy, Home Manager, commented: “All of us at Marlborough Court are delighted that we have been able to achieve PEARL accreditation as it shows the level of our commitment to the improvement of care and increased understanding when supporting those living with dementia.”

PEARL uses a range of therapies including reminiscence therapy, sensory rooms and music therapy. The home is designed with consideration of the impact of light, colour, contrast, texture and sound to help people orientate themselves and create a balanced sensory stimulating environment.

The PEARL report can be viewed here: