It is such an important goal for all care homes and care facilities to ensure they enhance and, where possible, improve the quality of life for the residents with dementia. The Kingsfund assessment tool enables Care Homes to do this. It contains seven different sections looking at different aspects of the physical environment and a set of questions for each section. It encourages everyone to become involved in assessing how dementia friendly their care facility is.
Click here to download the Kingsfund Tool.
This tool was brought to my attention by an independent sector development officer. He talked of the merits of taking a good hard look at your Care Home from the perspective of the person with dementia and he recommended this tool.
It is a real beneficial and practical help to the manager and staff, because it helps to evidence improvements and developments in a Care Home or care service.
We changed many things as a result of using the assessment tool. Some changes were very small, but overall these changes improved the level of how dementia friendly our Care Home was, and is today.
Each section prompted analysis and improvement. Simple things such as looking how inviting the entrance was, how obvious was the location of the doorbell, and how easy was it to use. This of course not only helps residents with dementia, but also those with diminished sight. The tool re-enforced the importance of group seating to encourage conversation and interaction between residents.
The names plates on bedroom doors were doubled in size to make them more obvious to the resident. We created new signage for the public areas of the Care Home, again making it far more noticeable than previously, but this also included a lot more additional signage to help direct residents around the Care Home.
The garden area was developed to add raised flower beds to give residents the opportunity to enjoy gardening without bending if they did not want to do that. Garden areas were also secured to give residents complete freedom to be outdoors whilst at the same time ensuring their security.
The residents, relatives, staff, management, and other healthcare professionals were involved in the assessment and the residents were consulted and involved in the decision making process. Everyone has learned from and enjoyed the whole experience.
The changes which can be made are in many cases, small and inexpensive, and relatively easy to make. Collectively they help the residents to maintain their independence and enhance their quality of life.