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Dementia Action Week 2022: SENSES Tool – Avery

As part of Dementia Action Week 2022, we’re introducing the Avery SENSES tool, a framework which has been created to ensure our staff are successfully assessing the care needs of residents who may not be able to verbally provide information.

Residents living with serious cognitive impairment due to neurological ailments, such as dementia, may find it difficult to describe their experience of living in a care home environment.

At Avery, we’re extremely reactive in the level of care we provide and strive to ensure we’re continuously assessing the needs of residents to provide the care required.

Each individual will have different care home requirements, whether they require minimal assistance with day-to-day tasks, or more complex dementia or nursing care. Through thorough care home assessments, we can ensure the correct level of care is provided.

What is the SENSES Tool?

SENSES is a cleverly crafted care assessment tool, which is designed to allow staff to accurately assess the standard of care within a home, as well as gauge some of the typical experiences a resident may be exposed to.

The tool consists of six separate categories:

Example Observation
SSeewho is in the area immediate area, is anything happening?
EExpressionswhat do verbal/non-verbal signs from residents and staff indicate?
NNoisecan staff be heard using raised voices?
SSmellare there pleasant smells in the environment?
EEnvironmentdoes the immediate area feel emotionally warm and welcoming?
SSpeakare staff engaging with residents?


This tool is a fantastic asset for both staff and residents within Avery care homes, as it gives staff the opportunity to appreciate some of the actions and reactions residents may display. It also enables care and the environment to be adapted to provide the best possible service for individuals.

When is the SENSES Tool Used?

SENSES is designed to be used alongside other care assessments tools, such as the annual ReConnect Audit, and as part of a home review audit. It is also possible to use the SENSES tool independently to gain a brief overview of the experience of residents living within the care home.

When Should the SENSES Tool be Used?

Information gained from using the SENSES tool can be used in discussion with the care team to ensure support in ongoing practice development. It is confidential information but can be used to further improve the care provided to individuals.

Overall, it provides staff with an uncomplicated means of appreciating the experience of a resident over a short period of time.

The SENSES tool is not designed, however, for staff members to assume that they fully understand the lived experience of every resident with dementia or any other physical or mental health condition.

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