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No Place Like Home

No Place Like Home is a private companionship and homecare service for senior residents living in Kent's Canterbury and Swale areas. It is pioneering a new approach, helping clients and their families make the most of later life through focusing upon quality of experience and enjoyment. Clients are encouraged to plan ahead for the care they might need, introducing a little support early on so that No Place Like Home gradually becomes a familiar presence in their lives. The company’s team of Personal Assistants receive ongoing specialist dementia training alongside companionship and care skills development to ensure they are able to understand and respond sensitively to the needs of each client. Clients are involved fully in the design and development of the service, pooling ideas on new activities for others to enjoy. The service is designed to remain small-scale which means that it can be especially responsive to individual needs.

5 July 2017
South East
Local Alliances:
Kent Dementia Action Alliance, Ashford (Kent) Dementia Action Alliance, Dementia Action Alliance Faversham, Swale Dementia Action Alliance, Canterbury Dementia Action Alliance

1. Action Plan

 1. The National Dementia Declaration lists seven outcomes that the DAA are seeking to achieve for people with dementia and their carers. How would you describe your organisation’s role in delivering better outcomes for people with dementia and their carers?

No Place Like Home was founded on the personal experience of dementia in the owner’s family.

Our companionship and care approach is tailored to ensure that all clients and their families feel fully supported to live well with dementia. All staff receive regular dementia training from our own specialist trainer and ongoing supervision to enhance their support skills. We link up with a range of other organisations locally to ensure that clients and their families optimise all channels of support (eg: COGs Clubs or Carers’ Support). We involve our clients and their families in our company’s service improvement and development through our Quality Circle and regular dialogue.

Our MD is a Dementia Friends Champion, delivering regular sessions for local residents and businesses to further raise awareness of dementia and to reduce the stigma associated with the ‘D’ word. On the regional level, she is a member of the Kent Dementia Friendly Communities Reference Group and, with her children, has been involved in initiatives such as the Dementia Diaries.

On the national stage, our MD is a media volunteer for Alzheimer’s Research UK, contributing to projects to increase participation in dementia research and receiving fundraising donations on behalf of the charity in Kent. She will also be speaking at the 2014 Alzheimer’s Show in London.

 2.  What are the challenges to delivering these outcomes from the perspective of your organisation?

There are many challenges to enabling those living with dementia and their families to feel less isolated and more included in mainstream society.


The Prime Minister’s Dementia Challenge has a huge opportunity to reduce the stigma associated with the ‘D’ word. However, a sustained and consistent approach is required – for example agreeing for all organisations to embrace one logo (the Dementia Friends’ flower perhaps?) as a single symbol to show that they are all working in the same direction.

 In terms of practical support to help people live well with dementia, it is a question of providing fair access to information about services that exist to help. It is vital that ALL services – public, private and voluntary – are offered to enable CLIENT CHOICE. Currently, there tends to be a bias towards state or charitable concerns and many consumers miss out on some excellent services. Encouraging private enterprise in this sector will doubtless improve the quality of services and spark innovation and improvement.

Member contacts


2. Actions

  • To develop and deliver Dementia Workshops for the carers of people with dementia.

    In April 2014, Our Managing Director, Alison Carter, developed a new dementia workshop in collaboration with our company’s specialist Cambridge-based Dementia trainer. This workshop has now been running for 3 years, providing family carers with both deeper understanding of dementia and some practical tools and techniques to help their loved one live as well as possible with the condition. The course also addresses the risk of loneliness associated with caring for a loved one with dementia and offers support and advice on how to address this.

    The company is committed to continuing with the workshops which are held every couple of months. They are free to any family carers living in Canterbury and Swale areas of Kent. For more information on the next workshop being held, as well as feedback from past participants, please see:  http://www.noplacelikehome.eu/events


    2014 First Quarter Update

    A pilot workshop was conducted in April 2014 with excellent feedback from participants. Three hours was decided as the optimum timeframe. 

    The first official workshop was held in May during Dementia Awareness Week and a second held during June. Some excellent feedback was received from attendees:

    "A lovely, relaxed briefing, pleasant environment – don’t change it too much!"  Mr L, Canterbury area

     "Well run, in a very caring, compassionate way. It is a difficult topic and everybody has to tackle their problems according to their situations. You gave us wonderful, helpful insights. I think the balance of what you talked about today was excellent."  Mrs L, Canterbury area

     "I benefitted from the stories of the other attendees. My understanding of my role is now much clearer to me. I cannot think of any part of the session that has not been of use.  For the time spent, it is invaluable."  Mr W, Sittingbourne area

     "It was a very interesting informing session. Thank you very much. Great info." Mrs L, Canterbury area

     "The workshop has given a good framework to think through and plan our approach to life as my wife’s condition changes."  Mr S, Sittingbourne area

     "I found the workshop very interesting and most helpful. Thank you very much. Everything was explained so clearly and helped me to understand things more clearly from my husband’s situation (he suffers from Parkinsons and Lewy Body Dementia)."  Mrs B, Sittingbourne area

     "Helpful information and exercises. Comforting to be with others and hear their experiences."  Mrs R, Faversham area

     "The opportunity to share experiences and thoughts with each other is useful – always a relief to know that you are not alone as a carer. Have found this the most useful aspect and have learned a lot from other carers."  Mrs C, Sittingbourne area

    "Very informative presentation for people in the community touched by dementia."  Mrs T, Sittingbourne area

    2014 Second Quarter Update

    It was decided to wait until after the summer period to hold the next series  of workshops.

    2014 Third Quarter Update

    A further series of workshops are planned for October, November and December 2014.

  • To develop bespoke reminiscence packs with the help of clients and their carers to enhance cognitive stimulation in a person-centred way

    At No Place Like Home, we take ‘time to talk’ in order to understand our clients as deeply as possible. In addition to our usual Personal Programme documentation, we develop bespoke reminiscence packs with some of our clients with early stage dementia. These packs will vary from individual-to-individual in terms of the form they will take. They may comprise just written words and pictures or possibly significant objects or recordings of music etc. The benefit to the client is the ability for our Personal Assistants to retain connection and be able to converse meaningfully about significant past events even as the dementia progresses, thereby enhancing the client’s quality of experience working with us and reducing their sense of isolation and loneliness.

    This work is ongoing into 2018.


    2014 First Quarter Update

    We are making some good progress on this action. The nature of the reminiscence packs created with our Clients has varied hugely as anticipated.

    One Client (a lady in her 80s with Lewy Body Dementia) has been creating a 'Life Story Book' comprising photos and text (which our Personal Assistant has been helping to write). The life story book will be given to her daughter as a surprise birthday present!

    Another Client's reminiscence pack is her 'No Place Like Home Adventure File' comprises photos of her weekly trips out and about with her Personal Assistant over the past 18 months. She loves reviewing all the places visited and fun that has been had.  This client has mixed dementia and is a lady in her late 80s.

    2014 Second Quarter Update

    Another approach to creating a bespoke reminiscence pack involved not only photos but also looking at objects and ornaments, photographing and printing them out and including in a Special Moments Scrapbook. These objects were things that had been collected over the years and had special stories attached to them. The Personal Assistant's role was to work with the client to elicit memories related to each object and to write these down with each photo taken. The Client, a lady in her late 80s with Alzheimer's Disease, really enjoys this activity which is an ongoing project as she has collected so many articles over previous years.

    2014 Third Quarter Update

    Work continues on all of the above reminiscene pack approaches with different clients (especially the Adventures File approach). No new approaches have been identified as yet. Some excellent feedback from clients and their children especially at the pleasure that this work has brought.

  • To increase the number of Dementia Friends through providing dementia awareness-raising sessions to local residents and businesses.

    Our Managing Director, Alison Carter, is a Dementia Friends Champion and has been delivering regular Dementia Friends Sessions to local residents in the Swale area since May 2013. Her aim is to continue into the future offering sessions not only to individuals but also to businesses or groups across Swale and also Canterbury areas.

    In 2014, Alison established the Dementia Action Alliance for Faversham (DAAF) and in 2017 became co-chair of Dementia Action Alliance for Ashford and Canterbury (DAACA) along with Liz Taylor of Alzheimer's Society. Both Alliances have been involved in a number of initiatives to raise awareness of dementia in their local areas. In November 2016, DAAF hosted a very successful 'Dementia: Ask the Experts Day' which attracted a good audience and great feedback. This led to a further event being held by DAACA in Canterbury in September 2017, again with excellent feedback from participants. The 'Dementia: Ask the Experts Day' model has since been replicated in other areas of Kent and DAAF was proud to receive the Community & Partnership Award for the model at the November 2017 Dementia Friendly Kent Awards.

    All staff at No Place Like Home attend Dementia Friends sessions in addition to the specialist Dementia training that they receive from our own specialist Cambridge-based Dementia trainer and other ongoing formal and experiential learning.

    Alison was a member of the original Kent Dementia Friendly Communities Reference Group, hosted by Kent County Council’s Social Innovation Laboratory for Kent (SILK), and involved in the creation of the book 'The Dementia Diaries' which is a great resource for helping young people understand dementia. Read more about the making of the book: http://dementiafriendlykent.org.uk/learning/dementia-diaries/


    2014 First Quarter Update

    Alison continues to run regular Dementia Friends sessions for the general public advertised via the dementiafriends.org.uk website. All No Place Like Home staff are involved in Dementia Friends as well as receive specialist training in house.

    Alison led the formation of DAAF - Dementia Action Alliance for Faversham in order to help make her local community more dementia friendly. DAAF was launched in May during Dementia Awareness Week. See DAAF's own section under Local Alliances for more information.

    2014 Second Quarter Update

    Alison continues to run regular Dementia Friends sessions for the general public advertised via the dementiafriends.org.uk website.

    By September, Alison had delivered Dementia Friends sessions to 222 individuals in Kent.

    2014 Third Quarter Update

    Alison continues to run regular Dementia Friends sessions for the general public advertised via the dementiafriends.org.uk website.

    The number of sessions being run may be significantly increased as part of DAA for Faversham (DAAF) activity - involving guiding, scouting, local schools and local businesses and shops.