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A Ness Case Study – Glenda

The Ness model was designed to allow individuals the opportunity to remain in their own home for as long as possible by creating safe spaces that utilise the latest research and treatment to maintain an individuals cognitive health, reduce isolation and offer respite for carers. These goals came together perfectly with Glenda. Glenda sadly passed away this summer and will be greatly missed by all of us at The Ness. She had an amazing smile, sense of humour and an optimism that was infectious.

Glenda first came to The Ness Hub in 2017 a few weeks after we opened. She lived a few doors away and at 80 years old had been diagnosed with mixed dementia. She wanted to stay at home, independent, in her community and surrounded by her family.

Glenda started attending one afternoon a week in 2017 and she continued to attend our specialist hub for the next 5 years. By 2022 she was attending everyday continuing to laugh, engage and enjoy her time at The Hub. Importantly she was safe, she ate a good meal everyday and she continued to remain in her home despite now having very advanced dementia, mobility challenges and some continence difficulties.

Every day we went across to collect Glenda and on each visit she would gain social connection, mental stimulation and physical therapy. If Glenda had not had access to the Hub or had the opportunity to socialise, chat and push her memory, research shows she would have deteriorated more rapidly, become acutely isolated and required 24 hour care prior to her death, precipitating carer breakdown and social care crisis intervention. She would no doubt have had to go into residential care (against her pre-diagnosis wishes) and at huge financial cost.

In June 2022 Glenda passed away quietly and comfortably in hospital without requiring acute intervention, and never once going into residential care or requiring more than daily carer support. She attended the hub up to a week before her death. This case study perfectly illustrates the impact The Ness can have on an individual and demonstrates the ability to delay cognitive deterioration.

What does clinically focused dementia care look like?

As leading specialists in dementia and cognitive health, we are often asked about the types of care and therapy we offer, the process and what effect this has on someone who suffers from memory loss.  In this article we explain a little more about ‘clinically focused’ Devon dementia care.

At The Ness Care Group, we are interested in the brain!  How does it function, how can we encourage neuroplasticity and how can we delay cognitive decline? Our unique community healthcare model aims to understand the person and the disease and work with both the individual and the family to delay decline and maintain an individual’s independence.

What does that model look like for a Ness member?  It starts with a clinical review by a healthcare professional utilising Therapy Outcome Measurement Scales (TOMS).  This validated tool allows us to measure an individual’s communication and cognitive function to baseline their dementia stage.

This baseline allows us to place the individual in small group therapy with others at the same stage in their journey and (ideally) with similar life experiences.  Each Active Minds group works with no more than 5 people to allow conversation, therapeutic relationships and to maximise their impact.

Over successive weeks, the group facilitator will use a mixture of talking therapy, cognitive stimulation therapy and supported social interaction to maintain brain function, to build engagement, social confidence, and self-esteem.  The work is grounded in the work of Tom Kitwood and those who came after him in creating a wholly person-centred approach.

At every stage this is measured!  The trained facilitator uses the validated FIM+FAM tool to measure functional independence and functional assessment after every group session.

Over time this builds up a validated and insightful picture into a person’s dementia and the level and speed of decline.  The initial TOMs baseline is then repeated at longer intervals to track changes against the start.

This clinically focused outcome measured approach gives us not only outstanding dementia care but also a unique picture into an individual’s differing cognitive deterioration.

“Thank you for taking such good care of Dad. Coming to your sessions was the highlight of his week and he always came back happy!  It really helped him socialise and keep his mind active.” Family member

At The Ness Care Group, all of our team are specialists in dementia and are passionate about person-centered holistic care.  Our dementia care services are offered in various locations across Devon through our Active Minds 2-hour group therapy sessions, our Ness Hubs – wellness centres in Teignmouth and Chudleigh, as well as our outreach home care and virtual support for those who can’t physically attend our therapy sessions.

Our cognitive stimulation therapy sessions cover areas such as language and numbers, faces, categorisation and geographical locations.

If you or someone you know is worried about their memory, give us a call to discuss how we can help.  We offer free trial sessions at any of our group therapy or Hubs.

To arrange a free consultation call or to book a free trial, please visit www.nesscaregroup.co.uk or call 01626 774799.

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