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New dementia care suite opens; “I don’t think they could do anymore…they are absolutely incredible.”

A new specialist dementia care suite has opened at Royal Court care home in Cheltenham, and it is already making a difference!

Fiona Gillon, Care Home Manager at Royal Court shared. “Within 24 hours of the Dragonfly Suite opening for residents to live in, we could see a positive change with the residents. They all seem so content – it’s more like being in your own home. It’s comforting and the staff also love it.”

The Dragonfly suite is Royal Court care home’s second specialist ‘dementia care suite.’ It’s been refurbished from an existing residential living care corridor, into a dedicated wing for those living with dementia. Their Faithfull House care home in Suffolk Square also has an established dementia wing called Bluebell.

The Dragonfly suite consists of seven apartments around its own lounge, dining room and secure gardens – separate to the main home. Residents needing extra care and support, flourish in this calm family sized environment. It suits those who might otherwise feel lost in a larger home or find a busy environment overwhelming.

Team Leader in the Dragonfly Suite Cherie explains, “Our job is to make our residents as happy and comfortable as possible. We are only in our first couple of weeks but it is really working, everyone is settled, relaxed and enjoying things. Myself and Kiara we really look forward to coming to work. With seven residents we get to know them really well and even in a short time I can tune into the little signs about what they need.”

Fiona Gillon continues, “It is enabling our residents do ordinary things that some of them haven’t been able to do for a long time. There are two staff on in the suite each day and they organise the day around our seven Dragonfly residents. For example the other day the staff planned a baking activity in the afternoon so in the morning they took the residents out to the shops buy the ingredients.”

Dragonfly resident Audrey says, “I don’t think they could do anymore, around than they do, they are absolutely incredible. I am looking at the birds and trees – how wonderful. I believe God gave us everything in small packages, and you just make the most of it.”

Team Leader Cherie understands dementia not only professionally but also from her family situation, so has particularly 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 and have coffee, tea and cake and take them out and enjoy those moments.”

“I treat these residents like they are family. You can’t do this job without becoming attached. You have a bond, they have a bond with you and you have a bond with them. I am really excited for what is to come.”

Royal Court has unique spacious apartment style accommodation, with 24 hour residential care and now three specialist care suites – two for dementia care and one for physically frail and limited mobility.

Dementia care is offered in all six of Lilian Faithfull Care’s homes and adult day care hub in Gloucestershire.

Staff receive specialist training so that they can work with skill and confidence to assist those living with dementia.

Their care homes are subtly adjusted to ease common practical challenges when living with dementia and within a safe environment inside and gardens to walk around outside. Daily meaningful activities and trips are organised to give a sense of purpose, fulfilment and have fun.

They also have adult day care at their Secret Garden hub in Cheltenham, offering flexible care for people needing companionship and respite, including people with dementia, with a unique ‘Young Onset’ dementia group too.

Throughout Lilian Faithfull Care charity they’re focused in offering the practical care and emotional support to help people live well with dementia and give ongoing advice to family and friends.

If you’re looking for dementia care for a loved one and need advice, find out more about their dementia care here:

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