Dementia-friendly environment

How will we support you

We encourage everyone to become part of our community

How will we support you, is in a dementia-friendly environment, using a individual care plan (ICP), and with compassion and dignity. The individual care plan will be completed before you, or your loved one moves into the home. We will sit down and talk to everyone involved to work out a detailed personalised care plan. The plan will set out the level of care you or your loved one is to receive. It also enables us to explore you or your loved one’s tastes, interests and personality.

It may be as simple as preferring to be called ‘Mrs McIver’ instead of ‘Isla’. It could be that you or your loved one prefers getting up at 8 am rather than 7.30 am. These kinds of details help us get everything just right and makes the transition that much easier.

The care plan is tailored to the person and covers all aspects of their care, including:

Dementia-friendly environment Individual Care plan graphic

Accommodation

We support and enable everyone to make this their home, through personalising their surroundings. It’s not just about bringing a few choice items with you or your loved one, we want people to make this their home. We encourage this by offering to decorate your bedroom to your or your loved one’s tastes and furnishing it make the space as comfortable and familiar as possible. We can advise on dementia-friendly environment decorations and furnishings.

All our bedrooms are furnished with a bed, wardrobe, comfortable armchair and bedside table. We encourage you or your loved one to make to decorate and to add or remove anything you wish. We will do everything we can to accommodate personal preferences, as long as the layout gives us space to nurse in. Any furnishings will, of course, be subject to health and safety and fire risk checks/assessment. 

Dementia-friendly environment

Our homes are dementia-friendly environments, the right environment can help you or your loved one to stay safe, physically active and mentally stimulated.

Lighting our homes

Lighting plays an important part of dementia-friendly environments, it helps people to see clearly this in turn helps with confusion and balance. There are many different types of lighting, daylight, overhead and discrete. When all three are used together they can help an individuals moods, make them feel safer and happier. Daylight is essential to us all, it helps to boost our vitamin D levels. Vitamin D is a critical nutrient that prevents bone loss, reduces the risk of heart disease and various cancers. Vitamin D is known as the “sunshine vitamin”, but it doesn’t discriminate based on whether you get your sunlight indoors or out. We encourage our ladies and gentlemen to spend time in our communal areas as they have large windows. This also helps with mental stimulation as our gardens are a haven for birds, butterflies and squirrels.

Furniture and furnishings

Dementia may affect how well you can tell the difference between colours. It may also affect how you see objects in three dimensions. A dementia-friendly environment can help to reduce falls, confusion and behaviours. We use bright and contrasting colours for furnishings and furniture; this helps to see things more easily. We try not to use stripes or strong patterns as they can be confusing and disorientating. However, you or your loved one should have familiar items, this can help to make you or your loved one feel safe and comfortable. In communal areas, we do not display abstract artwork as these are easily misinterpreted by the brain and can cause those living with dementia to become agitated. The same can be said for mirrors, often as dementia progresses, people do not recognise themselves in mirrors, and this can cause distress and behaviours.

Visual clues

The symptoms of dementia are different for everyone, some people struggle with the memory of everyday things, for instance, knowing where socks are kept. This can be incredibly frustrating and can lead to frustration, anger and you or your loved one becoming agitated and upset. Visual cues can help with this, such as putting pictures or labels on the outside of cupboards, wardrobes and drawers. We encourage everyone to be involved in organising this, taking photos or choosing the items to be used for the labels.

Bathrooms

Not being able to find the toilet when you or your loved one needs, it can cause anxiety and accidents. We make sure that we leave the door to your Ensuite open so that it is easy to see where it is. The lights are bright, and everything is white, so it is easy to see the handrails in a contrasting colour and the same with the toilet seat and lid. These little touches make a big difference, it can reduce anxiety and frustration. Everyone’s bathrooms can get crowded with items that you do not use every day. For someone with dementia, this can be distracting and confusing, leading to agitation and distress. Therefore, we make sure that there are only those items you or your loved one uses daily on display.

Dementia-friendly environment and feeling safe

Keeping you or your loved one safe is one of our top priorities, our homes are dementia friendly environments, designed to make you, or your loved ones feel safe and confident. There are different types of grab rails, alarms and sensors, including smoke detectors fitted throughout. Our homes are always kept at an appropriate temperature to prevent you or your loved one getting too hot or too cold. We use CCTV, room and bed monitoring, nurse call systems and are piloting several new technological innovative products to help us to keep everyone safe.

Home from Home
Home from Home

Life stories

It’s not just the day-to-day things we like to find out about. Our person-centred approach also means we want to gather information about the person’s background and past; their achievements and significant milestones in their life. A vital resource for us is their life story. This is hugely valuable information, especially for a person with dementia, and we note down their likes and dislikes, interests, family background and history. It’s something we all enjoy and is a very effective way of connecting with the people we are caring for.

Dementia-friendly environment

We take the time to talk to the person and their family, to learn about all the critical events in their life, significant moments and achievements. The life story enables us to strike up a conversation or trigger a reminiscence which can be invaluable in making the person feel included and valued. The benefits of life story work are immense, but one marked change can be in understanding behaviour. Why do people behave the way they do is often difficult, especially if their actions are hostile, aggressive and challenging for us. Our Psychologist, Fiona, works with the people we support, their families and other professionals to find pathways to keeping relationships and communications open.

We can help people to touch base with who they are and improve self-esteem and restore identity. Most importantly, we listen to you and keep records so that even if someone new comes to support you, they too will know your story.

Challenging behaviour is an unmet need when we understand what that need is we can influence and minimise that behaviour and, in some cases, prevent it happening. Our life story work is very important, and the key to our person-centred planning.

On a more practical level, we also like to get a feel for how someone wants to spend their time; so we can try to reflect that in their daily life with us. Maybe it’s an early morning cup of tea in bed with the newspaper, or we might discover that afternoon detective shows are their secret indulgence!

Not just care needs

Our activity co-coordinator endeavour to accommodate a interest or talent. A love of singing may lead to the organising of an afternoon concert; a lifetime of breeding award-winning spaniels could result in regular visits from a dog and its owner. The more we get to know a person, the more we can make their lives active, fulfilling and still full of fun.

Events and Activities

We offer a wide range of activities some are organised group events; such as trips out or entertainment of some kind. Others are ‘ad hoc’, individual outings for somebody because they have asked for one or perhaps, we feel that they might benefit from a little time out of the house.

We employ full-time activities organiser who arranges a wide range of group and one to one activities and regular visits from various entertainers. Suitable activities will naturally vary between individuals and being part of a close-knit community means that activities will be tailored around each person and their tastes.

Additionally, people will often suggest or develop their own activity ideas to celebrate a special occasion or to mark a significant event. Staff will work with our ladies and gentlemen to develop the activities around a theme which are then planned over several days, e.g. shopping or group craft projects.

We look to make sure that everybody’s interests are covered, and we provide a wide range of events for everyone to take part in, both in groups or as individuals:

dementia-friendly environment activity chart

Hobbies and Interests

We encourage people to pursue their own interests on either an individual basis or in small groups. The garden is popular with our keen gardeners, but we also run craft sessions, painting groups, knitting and sewing circles to name but a few.

Many people revisit hobbies that they may have pursued in the past. Some take up new pursuits that having that extra little bit of support around now make accessible. Families are often surprised by the new interests that our guests take up and the vitality they develop in their new home.

Nutrition and Food

At Bridge, Burton and Trent Court, we understand the importance of good, nutritious food.

Mealtimes are an essential part of everyone’s day – and it is no different for the people we support. Just like at home, we make sure there is a choice, to eat together in a family environment, or alone if they prefer.

dementia-friendly environment promote healthy eating

Our Head Chef has developed our own varied restaurant-style dining menu, with meals to suit everyone. With specialist nutritionist and dietitian input, we provide healthy meals to suit all tastes and preferences, including allergies, smaller meals packed with energy for those that require them. We offer home-from-home classics and special dietary requirements, so there really is something for everyone.

Our meals don’t just taste great, they look good and are packed with specialist nutrition. Thus, helping everyone to eat healthy whatever their circumstances.

Throughout the day, tea, coffee, soft drinks and snacks are readily available. We also have our snack cart, which encourages people to make choices, helps with dexterity and promotes memories. You can request an alternative or a lite bite and snacks are always available .

Our Environmental Health Rating

We have a 5-star rating, which is an indication of the commitment and creativity that our executive chef and the whole team at Bridge, Burton and Trent Court have.

Environment rating 5Menu sample
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