Care for the elderly is often a hot topic in the news, unfortunately, for the wrong reasons. There are numerous stories of retirement residences and care homes embroiled in negligence and abuse scandals.
Therefore, nursing homes, in general, have a bad reputation, so they have to constantly devise new ways to keep their residents happy, comfortable, and relaxed.
The aged care industry has recently come up with multiple new care and dementia-friendly designs and models to revolutionize their approach and make a difference.
There are a lot of good nursing homes working diligently to enhance the care they provide to the most vulnerable, and use strategies like music therapy, pet therapy, and memory care facility designs.
A large number of people in nursing homes suffer from dementia, poor memory, and inability to perform daily functions efficiently. They are sensitive to certain sights, sounds, and environmental conditions, so their care providers are trained to treat them gently and cautiously.
They take care of their sleep, meals, and bathing, and help them in performing their daily activities.
The Old Vicarage Nursing Home in the United Kingdom works on with the Butterfly Model of Care, a system that’s focused on empathy and the emotions and feelings of the patients is their main goal. They have a simple way to help the elderly to sleep easier, so the staff is required to dress in warm clothes to avoid provoking, terrifying or upsetting them.
The initiative came from staff attending training by David Sheard’s Dementia Care Matters model of care.
Kamal Siddiqi, owner of the care home to Hello Care says that he gave the staff 30 pounds to purchase a range of casual clothing, while the night staff wears dressing gowns and pajamas.
The patients don’t have to be persuaded to fall asleep when they see the staff is doing the same, and this pajama strategy reminds the elderly to get in their warm, comfy sleepwear.
Visually, uniforms represent a separation between the staff in care homes and residents, and it goes against the themes of togetherness and unity that these homes strive to achieve.
This psychological therapy also uses visual cues to help patients perform their activities more easily, including a cardboard statue of a man brushing his teeth in the morning, a wallpaper of a lady at the sink washing her hands after using the bathroom, and a short clip of people getting into soft, comfy beds when movie night is nearly over.
Kamal says that the no-uniform policy helps the employees to relate better with patients, as it de-institutionalizes the environment in which the residents live.
Everyone liked the idea, and Kamal says that while the staff enjoys trying new ways to keep the residents feel safe and happy, the elderly feel like home, instead of a care home.