Innovations in dementia care

Authors


Doreen Flood, Calare Nursing Home, 124 March Street, Orange, New South Wales 2800, Australia.

Abstract

Creating a homelike environment in an institutional setting that caters for dementia sufferers requires flexibility, understanding and insight. A homelike environment frequently only addresses the physical appearance of the facility without ever considering what was homelike for the resident prior to coming into care. The use of chemical and mechanical restraints to overcome adverse behaviour has been the accepted norm in many nursing homes without consideration being given to the diverse effects of these management tools. The use of the clinical type setting for routines and policies has been in place for many years, yet it is these very routines that have been found to cause the most distress to dementia sufferers. The challenge of change is the greatest reason for maintaining the status quo but change can bring its rewards with the improved quality of life experienced by those residents who lived in a nursing home. This paper describes a programme that addresses the advantages of changing the environment for dementia sufferers and demonstrates that an improved quality of life can be achieved by removing the need for chemical and mechanical restraints.

Ancillary