ReConnect | Welcome Home Autumn 2018
Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a range of progressive conditions affecting the brain. There are many different types of dementia with Alzheimer’s disease being the most common. Some people may have a combination of types of dementia. Dementia is associated with a decline in memory or other thinking skills severe enough to reduce a person’s ability to perform everyday activities.
The Alzheimer’s Society estimates that there are currently 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK. This is predicted to rise to over 1 million by 2025, with one person receiving a diagnosis every three minutes. 1 in every 14 of the population aged 65 or over is living with dementia (www.alzheimers.org.uk).
At Avery, we aim to continuously meet and exceed the expectations of our residents, their families, visiting professionals and our regulators and in order to do this, we must have a clear and consistent approach to delivering modern dementia care services. We recognise that a person living with dementia can become quickly disconnected from everything that was once familiar without skilled and individualised care. We have therefore named our new comprehensive dementia strategy “ReConnect”.
ReConnect has been developed to reflect the very best evidence-based guidance available, drawing on the work of leaders in the field of dementia care, including the late Professor Tom Kitwood, who is universally regarded nationally and internationally as one of the pioneers of contemporary person-centred dementia care.
The Avery Healthcare ReConnect strategy includes a new logo, care model, and manual containing information and guidance for all staff on delivering high-quality evidence-based dementia care in practice. There are also associated training programmes, support for implementation and a bespoke audit tool to measure and evaluate progress.
The ReConnect Logo
The logo has been designed to represent how each person is made up of many different elements that interlink and join together to create a whole person. Care must address and reflect each part of a unique individual if it is to be truly person-centred.
The ReConnect Care Model
The ReConnect Care Model highlights the stages of care which a resident may go through commencing with the process of choosing a care home and moving in. The Avery focus is always on maintaining as much of the person’s normal life, preferences, choices and routines as possible, based on their life story.
The five key elements to support excellent care are: building relationships; supporting families; having skilled staff teams; ensuring evidence-based care and measuring outcomes which fit together to ensure that ReConnect is a comprehensive and effective programme.
1. Building Relationships
Relationships are a key factor in the delivery of high-quality, person-centred dementia care. ReConnect focuses on all staff being able to develop trusting and supportive relationships with residents and their families, as well as with members of the wider Dementia Care Team.
2. Supporting Families
Family relationships remain vitally important and staff must work closely with loved ones who know the resident best. ReConnect ensures that families and friends receive clear information and compassionate support, when and how they need it and as often as required.
3. Skilled Staff Teams
ReConnect ensures that staff working within our homes have the right level of dementia knowledge and training to support residents and their families. The new ReConnect training pathway has been specifically developed with a range of learning approaches for staff teams, including bespoke training materials and a collaborative partnership with Leeds Beckett University.
4. Evidence-based care
The ReConnect Programme reflects the most contemporary and robust dementia research and best practice guidance available to ensure that residents are supported to live well and maintain the highest quality of life possible.
5. Measuring Outcomes
A tailored audit system has been developed which complements our existing quality assurance systems. This enables us to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the ReConnect Programme in supporting true person-centred and high-quality care. Some principle elements of ReConnect have already been introduced, including Life Story Work and Personalised Musical Playlists. We will be introducing more elements of ReConnect over the coming months with a full launch from October.
Article by Jo Crossland, Head of Dementia Care