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Living life with dementia at Lilian Faithfull Care

Living life with dementia at Lilian Faithfull Care

 

Throughout our charity, Lilian Faithfull Care, we’re focused on offering the practical care and emotional support for people living with dementia, and giving ongoing advice to loved ones in Gloucestershire.

 

We look after remarkable people living with dementia, at every stage of their care journey, across all our six care homes and day hub in Cheltenham and Stroud.

 

Our charity have expanded the dementia care services we provide and adapted the spaces in our care homes, to cater for the rise in demand for dementia care in Gloucestershire. These include; a community day care hub, a new young onset dementia group and new dementia care suites.

 

Living with dementia in the community

 

At the heart of the Suffolk’s in Cheltenham our Secret Garden Hub has become a real beacon of hope for people living with dementia in the community and also helping combat loneliness and isolation.

 

The Secret Garden Hub has been offering tailored adult day care for over seven years. Located in the gardens of our Faithfull House care home, its warm and happy vibe is infectious.

 

Roger Morris visits the Hub twice a week and told about his life living with dementia and his visits,

 

“Dementia – it’s a horrible thing to have as you don’t trust yourself. You don’t know if you are thinking correctly.  I have to write lots of notes, things like that, to lead a fairly normal life. I come to meet people because I lost all my confidence and I hardly dare go out on my own. It’s a peculiar thing really as I used to be very sociable.”

 

Roger used to play rugby for Northampton as wing three-quarter (and had a trial for England), he continued,Coming here, it’s the camaraderie, chatting and talking to people which is the most important thing.” 

 

From a family’s perspective a day guest’s son John Herlihy shared,

 

“It is a great reassurance to us that the service can be provided, as is the fact that she seems to get such a boost from the antics of staff, guests and visitors weekly.  The Secret Garden appears to have developed a secret magic formula for early and mid-stage dementia care!”

 

New young onset dementia group

 

Our Secret Garden hub has recently set up a unique opportunity for younger people living with dementia to get together, supporting those typically aged 40-65.

 

The days are fun and fulfilling, with varied activities, trips, entertainment and fresh hot meals and the companionship of others, who are also adapting to living life with dementia at a young age.

 

The small welcoming group means people quickly feel at home and the experienced staff adapt the day to suit, in a safe and supportive environment.

 

New dedicated dementia care suites

 

We now have three dedicated dementia care suites across two of our residential care homes. One suite at Faithfull House in Suffolk Square and two at Royal Court in Fiddlers Green Cheltenham.

 

Residents share a family sized lounge and dining room, with their own bedrooms, which offer familiarity and peace to those who might otherwise feel lost or overwhelmed in a larger or vibrant home environment.

 

Activities are on a one to one and group basis and include gentle exercise, trips out, music therapy, art and cookery. Activities will also include doing day to day tasks which give residents a sense of purpose and routine, which those living with dementia really benefit from.

 

Suzanne Booker, Director of Care explains.

 

“We opened our first dementia care suite over 5 years ago, and we are continuing to expand the number we offer, as we’ve seen so many positive benefits for those living with us. Residents gain reassurance from the calm, quiet environment and having a dedicated staff team. At Royal Court residents have their own apartments within the suite and safe access to a garden, which can give a feeling of wellbeing and stimulate memories with physical activity.”

 

Care Team Leader Cherie Thomas, works in one of our specialised dementia care suites at Royal Court care home and understands dementia, not only professionally, but personally, so has particular empathy with families considering care;

 

My mum had dementia, so it’s always a worry that you don’t want to feel like you are letting them down. It is not an easy illness to deal with being a family member, but you have to do what’s in your family’s best interest. When you start becoming a carer, your family orientation goes – you lose being a son or daughter. Bringing them into a setting like this means that you can go back to being a son or daughter. You can visit, have coffee, tea and cake, take them out and enjoy those moments.” 

 

Specialist dementia care staff and environments

 

Carer Wendy Heeks has worked at St Faith’s nursing home for 45 years and remembers what it was like back then, “I started when I was seventeen years old and dementia was not spoken about, it was just explained as ‘confused’.”

 

Now, all our staff receive dementia training so that they can work with skill and confidence to assist those living with dementia. Our ‘dementia care leads’ and teams of ‘dementia link workers’ ensure that our staff are up to date with the latest training and understanding of dementia.

 

Our day hubs and care homes are subtly adjusted to ease common practical challenges when living with dementia, such as suitable signage, use of colours and appropriate tableware, peace and familiarity – all to give a secure, safe and stress free environment.

 

 

We are very privileged to care for the remarkable people who live with or visit us. We believe people should have every opportunity to live their lives with dignity and respect. And we should never forget our older generation have helped form our way of life and have given so much to society as we know it.

 

To find out more about dementia care and support across our Lilian Faithfull Care charity visit our dementia care page.

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