November 21, 2018

It’s the little things!

Senior and young holding hands

Kingsmount Residential Home is a specialist dementia home and we’d like to share a few of the things we’ve done to transform the home into a truly dementia friendly space that ensures our residents’ safety and comfort.

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Decoration: We try to involve residents wherever we can, for example with choosing paint or carpet colours. We left colour samples on the wall and the residents indicated which one they preferred, choosing between blues, pinks and purples. A lavender colour was overall winner and went perfectly with the green carpet chosen for the downstairs communal areas and hallways. This replaced a busy, patterned carpet which can be confusing for people with dementia who may mistake patterns for “bits” on the floor which they could then try to pick up, presenting a risk of falling over.

Furniture: As is common in care homes (we were guilty of this), the main lounge is often laid out with chairs round the outside of the room. It wasn’t a drastic change, however we pulled one side of the seating in enabling better interactions and creating a “corridor” behind the back row of chairs meaning staff could move around without disturbing residents. This also left a little space for two chairs in a cubby for residents who wanted to sit in the lounge, but not necessarily in the thick of it. Additionally, we introduced a sofa to our collection of wing-backed armchairs to add a little variation. This has been a popular addition and creates more of a sitting room feel.

Little Extras: We bought a lifelike baby for a resident who hallucinated young children and would often be upset if she couldn’t “see” them. The doll brought her great joy. We introduced a set of plastic tub drawers which residents could rifle through and pull out anything they fancy. We introduced new stylish clothes preservers for mealtimes which helped to protect dignity while still being practical. We’ve also improved lighting to reduce shadows which can be distracting or confusing.

It’s amazing how these small changes can have such a positive effect and I look forward to seeing how the home continues to grow and adapt as needs and fashions change.

Written by Tori Gray and first published in Beach Hut magazine
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Kingmount Residential Home is a dementia specialist care home in Paignton offering residential and respite care for older people. To arrange a personal guided tour please call us on 01803 500719. The kettle's always on and we'd love to meet you.