Called Dementia Utopia, the event was an ideal way to get together and discuss our overall strategy, training needs, the latest in professional thinking and the ‘look and feel’ of dementia care in the future.
It was held shortly after we announced plans to encourage our entire 1,700-strong workforce to become recognised Dementia Friends.
Operations Director Elaine Farrer, one of the conference co-ordinators, said a main aim of the day was to look at what it means to live well with dementia.
Elaine said: “We asked participants to consider what it would look like if we designed a utopia for dementia care. We talked about support from carers, what the experience of social activities and dining would be like and many other aspects of daily life.”
More than 30 people attended from the six homes where we provide specialist care for those with dementia-related illnesses.
These are Linden House in Lymington, St Catherines View in Winchester, The Aldbury in Poole, Fernhill in Longham, Kingfishers in New Milton and Newstone House in Sturminster Newton
Elaine added: “A whole range of roles were represented and it is fantastic that our approach to dementia care is being formed directly on the input and insight from such a wide group of team members.”
The conference, held at the St Leonards Hotel near Ringwood, came as we began an initiative to offer monthly Dementia Friends sessions for staff and the community at each of our homes.
Dementia Friends are people who have undergone a one-hour, face-to-face information session or watched an online video to understand how they can best help those who live with dementia.
Denise Arthur-Briskham, Home Manager at The Aldbury and a Dementia Friends Champion, said: “The Dementia Friends programme is designed to transform the way we think, act and talk when it comes to dementia. There are many ways to help someone with dementia, some of them small and easy to do. It’s all about raising awareness.”