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How we are changing the perception of dementia day care centres through innovation and community initiatives

What do you think of when you hear ‘dementia day centre?’

There seems to be a historical stigma around what a dementia day centre really is, and unfortunately, what many people think of when they hear ‘day centre’ is an unloved, large, cold, community room where elderly individuals are sat around watching TV, waiting for the day to pass with little to no stimulation or personal engagement.

We are changing perceptions!

This is no longer the case with many dementia day centres, and in fact, in recent years things have radically changed and this perception is completely inaccurate.

10 years ago, most day centres were council run and didn’t have the money behind them to provide a service that was stimulating and reactive to the members’ needs. This is different now.

We have been working with new and exciting companies across the UK to establish what day care really needs, in order to provide for an individual living with the disease. We, in fact, prefer to call it an activity centre or a social club. Somewhere for an individual to come where they can get the stimulation and engagement they need and want!

We focus on wellbeing and quality of life

Retaining your loved one’s independence is the most important outcome when it comes to realising that extra support is required. Rather than seeing our dementia day care centre as somewhere for respite care and to take the pressure off the main carer, see it as a service that will greatly improve the individuals quality of life and hopefully delay the deterioration of the disease. It is a vital step to combating dementia.

We’re breaking dementia norms

We know that our members’ get much more out of their day if they are kept busy, here are some of our favourite activities at the centre:

  • Animal therapy
  • Arts & crafts
  • Ping Pong (a Ness Centre favourite!)
  • Dancing and singing
  • Thai Chi
  • Sharing food and drink

Our activity centre supports the primary carer too

We are not just a drop off service for those caring for someone with dementia, we provide primary carers and their families with a safe and supportive place to come for information and advice. Plus, we run specialist training courses to support you, such as our 5-week resilience course.

These courses will allow you to share your challenges and experiences with people in the same situation as you and gain tips on ways to cope. By sharing your struggles with like-minded people and experts alike, you gain resilience and ability to support someone for a little longer.

We’re innovating ideas that are shaping our future

Still can’t get the vision of a dull and dingy ‘day centre’ out of your mind? Imagine this…

Each room you enter at The Ness Dementia Centre has been thought out and researched, we stray away from dull washed out colours, and instead introduce a different colour palette into each room, which resonates with various different emotions, such as:

  • Green – research has shown that the colour green makes a person feel more calm and relaxed.
  • Red & orange – in contrast, red and orange stimulate the brain wave activity.

We’ve done our research and know what works, so we’re able to provide a menu of stimulating and engaging activities that our members take part in on a regular basis.

Our Ness Shed is our latest innovative service offering…

New to 2019, we’ve introduced The Ness Shed, which is open for the whole community to use, regardless of if you have dementia or not. With the support of our experienced care professionals and activity coordinators, members will use the space to take part in manual activities such as pottery and woodwork.

Located in the same building as our main dementia day centre, this space is anything but dull and can be used during our set classes that run on a weekly basis. Find out more about The Ness Shed here.

Ready to book a free trial?

So next time you hear about a ‘dementia day centre’, don’t just jump to conclusions about what service you’ll be getting. We are here to help and support you through the process, and a free trial at our centre may be what you and your loved one needs to get a better idea of what The Ness Dementia Centre has to offer.

Get in contact with our team here to learn more about our centres, or take a look at our recent reviews here to see what family members have to say about our dementia day care centre.

How we use a range of pioneering treatments and technology at our Devon dementia support service

When families and carers approach us regarding care for their loved one, the one set back that many people find is that they don’t have the experience or knowledge to understand the needs of someone living with this disease.

At The Ness Dementia Centre, we can pair our expertise and research with varied pioneering treatments and developed technology to aid the individual. Read on to find out how we use these treatments within our Devon dementia support service.

Today’s technology is helping individuals to be ahead of tomorrow’s problems

Technology is used more and more in everyone’s day-to-day life, and we have become so reliant on it nowadays that you don’t even think about the effect it has on your life. Well, for people living with dementia, we use technology both to enhance quality of life and to slow down the deterioration of the disease.

So, what technology do we use at The Ness Dementia Centre?

One aspect of life that a lot of people are worried about losing when diagnosed with dementia is their independence. We keep this at the forefront of our plans as we don’t believe lack of independence has to be definite. Technology really helps us to put this belief into practice, here’s what we use…

  1. iPads and computer apps – We have several iPads at our dementia centre and use them in a variety of ways. They can be a source of reminiscence, as a way to look back at places that people visited over the years, possibly on holiday or somewhere they may have been born or grown up. In many cases, songs or adverts can also be a way of remembering times in history too. We also download different simple apps which allow our team to work 1:1 and play a memory game, sketch a drawing, do a crossword or even play cards. There are a huge number of Apps now available for those with memory problems which we utilise.
  2. Virtual reality – Virtual reality is a really fun and exciting piece of technology that we have engaged with from the start. There is research to show that the use of VR can reduce anxiety and aid sleep. However, we use it for armchair travel, our members can choose a country to visit and immediately be visually surrounded by that place. We have also teamed up with an exciting new company trialing VR as a form of group therapy and hope to work with them towards the end of 2019.
  3. Specialist support portal – it’s important for us that carers and family members are also kept in the loop about how their loved one is doing, and what they’ve been getting up to whilst in our care. For this reason, we are working on rolling out a private members’ portal. This will be updated with everything from a member’s personal interests to their daily wellbeing and nutritional intake.

We use pioneering dementia treatments that really make a difference

Here at Atlas, we’re proud to work closely with the Ageing & Dementia Research Centre at Bournemouth University. This allows us to keep on top of the latest research to ensure that our members are receiving the highest level of care at all times. We prefer to use non-medicinal treatments at our centre, as from our research this has far better long term success. Here are some of the treatments our staff use at the centre:

Cognitive Stimulation Therapy
All of our staff are trained in CST which works on improving an individual’s memory, problem-solving and language skills. CST is done within a group environment and generally works best for individuals with mild-moderate levels of dementia.

The purpose of these group sessions is to engage and stimulate whilst also providing social benefits, ultimately building their confidence and improving their ability to communicate.

We also use validation therapy, reminiscence therapy, music therapy and creative arts therapy all well documented non-pharmacological treatements designed to increase quality of life and slow disease progression.

“My Mum gets very little stimulus at home and knowing that twice a week she is out of the house in a place that is stimulating and engaging, run by people who understand her condition and who truly care for her health and well being provides great comfort to all of us.”

– Julie, Daughter of a member at The Ness Dementia Centre

Ready for your loved one to trial our Devon dementia support service?

We understand that there are so many stages of dementia, and no two individuals will have the same experience of the disease. However, with the treatments, technology, and extensive research we have done, we have seen first hand the impact that our dementia centre has on every individual that becomes a member.

We have no set membership requirement so your loved one can attend as little or as often as you feel necessary, whether it’s just 1 day a week to allow you some well-needed downtime, or more of a full support service for 4 or 5 days a week.

Alternatively, our brand new service, The Ness Shed allows individuals to enjoy hands-on manual activities such as pottery and woodwork with the support of our care professionals in a safe and stimulating environment.

The best way to learn more about how our centres can support you is for your loved one to attend a free trial session. This will give you both a better understanding of the treatments we use and how it can work for you. Get in contact via email here or call our team on 01626 774 799.

Get in contact with us

We would love to hear from you. Whether you are looking to book a free trial or would like to learn more about our care partnerships. Fill in this form and our team will be in touch.

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