| Helen Sharp
Landermeads Care Home
The (residents) were demoralised and felt they had lost their worth. We asked how we could make them feel loved, and part of the family. (Ros Heath – Director)
Four years ago, staff at Landermeads Nursing Home sat down and had a major re-think. They’d been around a long time as a family-run nursing home, and always done very well and had a good reputation. People were supported, well fed and clean – but people were definitely unhappy.
Landermeads set about restructuring the way they worked, making huge changes from getting rid of staff uniforms (employees even wear pyjamas while working night shifts) and nurses’ trolleys to reorganising the physical layout of the building: they scrapped their system of ‘units’ and introduced five households, with residents of each matched by the level of their dementia, and each run in different ways. For example, for those people living in the final stages of dementia, there is a more calm, sensory programme with activities like massage and aromatherapy.
Each resident is treated as an individual. One of the first aims is to involve each person and his/her family and friends in writing a life story – presented in a creative way using visual, written and aural representations and which is accessible to all staff; this enables carers to see the person as a whole with an important history and to give them the opportunity to live well at Landermeads respecting personal choice and dignity.
Director, Ros Heath, says the improvement is palpable – you can see it on the faces of each of the ‘family members’ every day. They have less hospital admissions, fewer falls and overall better well-being. And this month, inspectors at the Care Quality Commission agreed, reporting the facility is outstanding overall.
We used to have situations where people would bang on doors to get out.
When we took away the ‘us and them’ those behaviours stopped. We’re now a lot of happy people, there’s laughing and joking and banter with staff. (Ros Heath – Director)