Individualised, person centred care and support is essential for people who have dementia, as are understanding and communication skills when working with people whose verbal communication skills are impaired. Both housing and care staff need training in person-centred dementia care; leadership and support; and sufficient time to deliver a person-centred, responsive and flexible service.
The Enriched Opportunities Programme (opens new window) testifies to the benefits of such an approach. The EOP comprised specialist expertise, individualized assessment and casework, activity and occupation, staff training, management and leadership. These documents outline the research project to measure the impact of the programme on residents and staff who took part and compared the results with sites where the enriched opportunities did not take place and summarise the findings.
Training is Only the Beginning (opens new window) - In the context of Extra Care housing, dementia trainer Beth Noray's presentation describes the areas training should cover, including: understanding dementia, enhancing well-being, communication and challenging behaviour. She touches on key messages within each, and also outlines other aspects important to enabling staff to provide good care and support to people with dementia and their families.
An Introduction to the Mental Health of Older People (opens new window) -These e-learning resources are freely available to all users and, through audio, video and interactive uses of technology, aim to raise awareness of key issues, research, messages, policies and approaches relating to the mental health of older people and, in so doing, positively impact on practice.