Can anyone fix dementia care?

Have a look at this video of Sir Gerry Robinson made by the BBC. He is a business man who specialises in turning around businesses from failure to success. He looks at what can be done in dementia care in two homes in the UK.

What he finds makes you want to throw your head back and wail in frustration and sadness.

Yet, he finds some signs of hope. The BBC series is broken up into several 15 minute pieces in these video clips telling the story of his journey.

This video is the first of several I will link to in a series of posts over next few days. This will be well worth your time just to see what is being done and what can be done.

Let me know what you think. What is happening in your place? What grabs your attention?

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

to all our readers and customers who have supported the work we do.

Our goal is to create opportunities for older people in care to experience wellbeing and to support those who care for them. You have contributed to that work and we thank you.

We look forward to working with you and stimulating reflection on the person-centred approach to care practice  in 2011.

Our office is closed from 24th December and reopening on Tuesday 4th January 2011.

For immediate response and for EAP enquiries we can be contacted on 0408 145 819

Best wishes


A hospital?: To be or not to be one

Absence of occupation is not rest,

A mind quite vacant is a mind distressed.

William Cowper

Retirement (1782)

Older people sitting for long periods doing nothing in aged care homes is a stereotypical picture of aged care living. Yet it holds a grain of truth. We make people healthy, clean and well fed and then we bore them to death!

This is the area of aged care that needs most attention. Engagement and occupation in a meaningful life or a “life worth living” is the next frontier for aged care staff and management. It is ironic that in the ACFI it does not have any funding tagged for lifestyle provision.

We maintain the hospital livery we inherited from our forebears. The hospital style of aged care is no longer appropriate for a modern 21st century aged care home. There are too many successful examples of attempts to design aged care homes in a homely and non-institutional décor and organization for us to ignore them anymore. It is no longer acceptable to build homes that are more like warehouses for old people or hospitals for old people. No matter how much nursing care is required there is no need to make a long-stay care environment look like a short-stay nursing environment.

What do you think?

Enriching care planning

This book is a ‘must have’ for your dementia library. It provides a profiled approach to care planning that is holistic and inclusive of the person. It values the life story, the physical, the personality, the roles in life, the social dimension. This inclusive approach results in an enriched care planning process and improved outcomes for the person. Enjoy reading it and enjoy putting it into practice. It comes from the UK but is just as relevant in other settings.

Making dementia services better

Person-centred care has needed this book. Dawn Brooker, the former head of the Bradford Dementia Group and now head of the Association of Dementia Studies at University of Worcester, UK, has given us a simple yet profound model of person-centred care for people living with dementia.

This model is the VIPS model of person-centred care. We all know that a VIP is a Very Important Person. Brooker uses this popular acronym to describe the four core elements to a well-rounded understanding of person-centred care.

V = Value. Each person has value regardless of disability

I = Individualised. Care must be shaped to the particular needs and preferences of each person

P = Perspective. The person has a unique perspective on their life, feelings, ants and needs and this must be respected

S = Social. We are social beings who thrive in relationships of respect and understanding.

Brooker explores the practical implications of this model for care homes and for people providing care in their own home. However the focus is mostly towards care homes and professional caregivers.a model that is intuitively useful for explaining what person-centred care actually means in practice to caregivers who may think person-centred is what you do after you have your work done and have a little extra time to be kind and thoughtful. No, person-centred care is integral to everything you do. Its how you do what you do.

She then sets out a benchmarking process with detailed markers (24: Six for each of the four elements of the VIPS mode to help care homes to judge how they are progressing toward a more person-centred environment This is a valuable addition to the literature of benchmarking in aged care and brings person-centred markers into focus for those making decisions about the quality of care and the organisational supports that person-centred care needs if it is to take root in any organisation.

I highly recommend this book as a must have for the serious about person-centred approaches to the care of people with dementia