2. Our Dementia Care Service
Some people can live well at home with dementia for many years. However, others may experience a complete loss of safety awareness both indoors and outdoors, putting themselves at risk of harm when crossing roads or using kitchen appliances, for example. This can be distressing to both the service user and their loved ones.
When symptoms such as these are present, the person may need 24-hour care to ensure they are safe at all times. In some cases, they may be protected by a Deprivation of Liberty Order (DoLS), agreed by the Court of Protection, which will prescribe legal measures to ensure their safety but not deprive them of their liberty.
Aster Care is experienced in supporting people with a community DoLS order, ensuring this is used appropriately and will not be to the person's detriment.
2a Our Model of Dementia Care
Aster Care uses a range of resources to better inform and equip our staff to understand and deliver sensitive care to those with dementia:-
1) The Aster Care booklet, 'Dementia - A Practical Guide for Staff', was produced by our Operations Director who aimed to, a) give simple explanations of the main types of dementia and, b) to better focus on behaviour manifestations, giving staff clear guidelines on how to respond appropriately.
2) We work closely with our health colleagues at The Limes, St James Hospital, whereby people with undiagnosed dementias may pass through the system to have their needs assessed before discharge home with a complex package of care. The Community Mental Health Team give ongoing support through S117 meetings on managing behaviours, and assisting in Best Interests meetings and DoLS orders.
3) We use information and factsheets from the Alzheimer's Society, including distributing their specialist booklets that focus on particular areas that are affected by dementia care i.e., advice on how to manage your money, keeping safe at home, how to eat well etc.
4) Our own Dementia Care policy is based on the principles of Professor Thomas Kitwood and his research into dementia, and the guidelines as set by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE), Aster Care takes into account the following: -
- The individuality of the person including their needs and preferences, paying due regard to their mental capacity.
- The need to embrace person-centred care and personhood
- The need to involve the family members or key people in the cared-for person’s life, with permission, to listen to and include their views.
- The importance of allocating a key worker and undertake frequent and formal reviews that inform the care plan. We aim to update the care plan every 6 months or more if required.
- The need to support informal carers, observant to signs of stress and signposting them to carer or respite services as required.
- Coordination and integrated working with other health care professionals to deliver the best care possible to the individual.
5) We are members of the NHS National Institue for Health Research to help beat dementia, partaking in some of the tasks and games to assist in providing base information.
6) We work with local shops, cafes and museums to alert them to our service users needs.
7) We work with local community police officers to alert them to our vulnerable service users with photos and information, should they abscond or become separated from their care worker.