What is a Dementia Friendly Environment?
After 2 years of implementing a real culture change and the person centred dementia care model, Pennwood has seen a noticeable reduction in falls, physical restraint, extreme behaviours and the need for psychotropic medication.
In July 2015, The Serbian Community Welfare Association of SA Inc T/A Pennwood Village implemented the dementia care model called Person Centred Household Care Model into its facility at Pennwood Village.
The model, involves making physical, cultural and environmental changes within the organisation. The team conducted an Environmental Audit for Dementia with interstate architect Kirsty Bennett an Environmental Design Manager from the Dementia Training Centre and a local architect Tara Graham Cochrane -Designwell Landscape and the Dementia Training Study Centre.
…a cohesive system of support that recognises the experience of the person with dementia and best provides assistance for the person to remain engaged in everyday life in a meaningful way
…shift emphasis from condition to experience
…active participant, not passive recipient
…physical environment dose not exist in a vacuum
The Household Model has given residents a sense of purpose and value
As a result of increased physical activity and contentment under the model, interim results also show 60 per cent of residents show a stabilisation in their pain.
Since July 15 Pennwood Village has seen a 90% reduction in extreme behaviours, an 85% reduction in falls and a 80% decrease in the number of residents requiring psychotropic medication.
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Household Model of Care
The CE Anne Brown says “These results demonstrate that the physical environment is not the only consideration to make when caring for persons living with dementia.
“The value of replacing task orientated care routines with relaxed homelike experiences, where staff is considered to be an extension of family cannot be underestimated,” she says. “The benefits of having buildings designed as homes to make it evident where you are and to support living activities eg to eat in a dining room next to the kitchens with the smell of food being served. To sit next to a warm fireplace in a comfortable homely chair, surrounded by cultural memorabilia has a significant impact on physical, psychological and social wellness.
In essence, we’ve been able to quantify that dignity in care is the key to quality of life and this is achieved through the Household Model and “Person Centred Care.”
By providing constant reminders of who they were, a person with dementia will not lose their sense of identity. The environment includes space for the resident and their visitors to use within the unit and in its immediate surrounds the main House lounge, kitchen and Dining Room.
Stigma remains a problem for people with dementia so the unit is designed to blend with the existing buildings and not stand out as a ‘special’ unit.