You’ll be surprised the difference understanding can make to the life of someone with dementia

Understanding the challenges people with dementia face is Belmont Healthcare who were asked to work alongside the local authority’s community mental health team concerning a patient who had been found wandering far from a care home during a period of respite care.

Adam Hutchison comments on how Belmont Healthcare intervened to provide 24 hour dementia care at the company’s Kent based Madeira Lodge.

“We were asked by the Community NHS Mental Health Team to assess an elderly lady to become her care-givers. She had in truth been let-down by a care home who hadn’t fully understood her dementia, which resulted in her not receiving the correct care and guidance she needed during a short respite break.

“This was an incredibly stressful time for Mrs X. Her primary care giver, her husband, had been admitted to hospital, and without the capacity to be at home on her own temporary respite care was desperately required.

“She came to us very confused, disorientated, and extremely frustrated resulting in high complex behaviourly issues - as I’m sure you can image in her position you’d simply want to know where your husband has gone, why you aren’t at home, and who are all these strangers! An incredibly unnerving time for Mrs X our focus was for her to trust in us to get her back on track and home as soon as possible.”

Working hand-in-hand with the local Mental Health Team it was a real team effort to put a plan in place to ease the distress and frustration and encourage Mrs X to eat, drink and take her medication.

Sarah Pennington, home manager at Madeira Lodge care home says: “Working hand-in-hand with a psychiatrist, community psychiatric nurse, and support workers, we communicated every other day to ensure we were delivering the right care package for the complex needs displayed. After two weeks of consultation, visits and assessments from the mental health team they were confident we were delivering the best care package.”

Adam adds: “The situation was pretty critical. When Mrs X came to us she had lost a lot of weight, she wouldn’t eat, drink, and refused her medication. One to one we worked with her talked it through and stayed with her. Once she realised we were there to help, the transformation was quite spectacular. She put her weight back on, in fact a healthy eight pounds during her stay, and within 12 weeks she was back in her own environment at home with her husband in her own routine.

“From a person in the headlights to someone equipped to manage her dementia – she’s been on a journey and we’re really pleased it was with us. She is now integrated into our day centre where she’s free to socialise, catch up with familiar staff, and have respite in her own way taking part in the tasks and activities we plan. It’s a joy to see – having dementia shouldn’t mean you lose your quality of life.”

As specialists within Dementia the Belmont Healthcare team of professionals are highly experienced in providing dementia care and 24 hour support to those suffering the effects of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, confusion and other similar conditions. They pride themselves on providing a warm and loving home in an environment that is stimulating yet peaceful and dignified managed with genuine care and concern.