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Dementia Action Week 2022: Our Dementia Team – Avery

We couldn’t go through Dementia Action Week 2022 without mentioning the incredible team behind Avery’s dementia care.

Jo Crossland, our Head of Dementia Care, and Jason Corrigan-Charlesworth, our Dementia Support Advisor, are absolutely integral to this.

Day-to-day Life of the Dementia Team

Jo and Jason work in equal partnership, with much of their time spent in our homes, supporting colleagues within the wider team with training and informative discussions to guide them through residents’ day-to-day experiences. They are also there to ensure that the care best meets the needs of the individuals.

As part of our belief in person-focused care, wherever possible we utilise non-pharmacological interventions to support residents who may experience distress due to their cognitive difficulties.

Our dementia team take the time to understand how previous experiences can play a crucial role in shaping the here and now of each resident. This approach remains consistent throughout our care provision, yet can be tailored to each resident’s personal needs, ensuring knowledge can be transferred into practice.

For more comprehensive information about the services we provide for people affected by dementia, check out our dementia care page.

Person-Centred Care – ReConnect and Life Story Work

Both Jo and Jason are firm believers that the move to a care home heralds the next chapter in a person’s life, and that a change of address shouldn’t mean having to face significant changes to their established and familiar way of living.

Life Story Work is an essential element of our ReConnect strategy in supporting residents with cognitive difficulties – who may not be able to easily share elements of their life. For more information on the Life Story approach, we have an insightful video from day two of our Dementia Action Week campaign here.

Dementia Care Team and Our Residents

As a team, we aim to gain an understanding of the previous interests, hobbies, preferences, and routines of a resident. This helps to create and maintain opportunities for meaningful occupation and engagement.

Life story information is then embedded into practice as staff members begin to link elements of a person’s story with actions and reactions in the day-t0-day life.

Our Dementia Team describe the ReConnect programme as a flexible set of resources, which staff can dip in and out of whenever they need, to access the advice and guidance they are looking for. We believe dementia care is everyone’s business, regardless of job role. The ReConnect programme helps to build staff confidence, ensuring they have the skills and knowledge they need to make a real difference in practice.

Focus for Dementia Action Week 2022

Undoubtedly, the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted everyone, not excluding those living and working in care homes. This year, Dementia Action Week marks a time when we’re opening our doors again, welcoming families and returning to a more normal way of living for our residents.

Jo and Jason have highlighted how a key focus, during Dementia Action Week 2022 and beyond, is ensuring our staff are fully supported so that residents with dementia can continue to enjoy life by engaging in everyday activities – whether that’s making a cup of tea with a member of staff, spending time outdoors enjoying the garden, building community links, or spending quality time with loved ones once more.

With the ReConnect approach, excellent dementia care becomes a reality. Jo and Jason’s work, coupled with the programme, supports all staff across the dementia care team to ensure that residents with cognitive difficulties and their families can continue to enjoy positive and fulfilling lives.

What’s Next for Dementia Action Week 2022?

If you missed our free interactive webinar on Tuesday 17th May, don’t worry! You have another chance to listen to Jo discuss many different topics in relation to dementia tomorrow at 7 pm (BST)(Thursday 19th May 2022). Click here to register for free for tomorrow’s webinar.

Jo Crossland & Jason Corrigan-Charlesworth

Avery’s Dementia Team, Jo Crossland and Jason Corrigan-Charlesworth