On a resident’s arrival, we go through an individual and detailed plan of care which is updated on a regular basis to suit the resident’s specific and varying needs. We also encourage relatives to bring family photographs, favourite pictures and mementos. In particular, we may request an old photograph of the resident in their ‘early years’, or a picture of something they were proud of, or loved – like their first car or family pet, or enjoying a hobby.
A vital part of looking after elderly people with dementia is to have knowledge of their past lives. This helps to create a ‘connection’ between resident and carer. We use a ‘Life Story Book’, which will be provided to a resident’s relatives when first arriving. We strongly encourage you to complete this book, which is then kept in the care plan and used as a reference for the care team in helping to gain an understanding of the people we care for. We then place this in a frame on the door of their bedroom, thus helping to identify their own room. Residents are encouraged to personalise their rooms with pictures and small pieces of furniture.