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Elderwood Carehome

Anchor’s Elderwood in Darlington is a trusted provider of residential care for elderly people, and we offer specialised services for elderly people who have dementia and physical disability. Our care home’s well trained and helpful staff provide 24-hour care and support to help you maintain your chosen lifestyle, adapting as your needs change. At Elderwood, activities play an important role and we aim to enhance our residents’ quality of life by providing a varied range of social activities. We pride ourselves on the quality of our catering, with our chef preparing meals daily from fresh, seasonal ingredients. Set just off the main A167 road into Darlington town centre and in its own beautiful grounds, Elderwood care home is close to local services and amenities, such as shops, a local park and doctors surgeries.

13 January 2016
North East
Care, Housing Sector
Local Alliances:
Darlington Dementia Action Alliance, North East Dementia 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?

We show absolute commitment to supporting and empowering all our customers living with a dementia by supporting all staff, not only direct care staff with information and education.

We achieve this with:

Structured training courses tailored to the needs of all staff and services; these courses range from awareness sessions to more advanced courses leading to dignity champion status. All cover an extensive variety of dementia related topics and we have a dementia knowledge development plan. We aim to empower people living with dementia by educating staff effectively and enabling staff to signpost customers and family to community sources of additional support and information. 

We have one to one dementia based activities with our residents in order to get the most from them along with an interactive indoor garden which has been designed for visual and stimulation purposes.

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

Meeting the needs of all staff as staff leave and join the organisation ie addressing turnover that can be high in some care settings.

Ensuring solid effective management systems in place to support staff, motivate, lead and inspire.

Challenging values and attitudes amongst some staff and relatives that are misconceived about dementia or the person living with a dementia

Encouraging family and friends and staff to be active partners in care.

Meeting the needs of people with dementia at different episodes along their journey, from diagnosis through to end of life

Ensuring people with dementia are continually empowered and central to all considerations about their life, care environment and support given

Ensuring people have access and choice to a diagnosis or the process of a diagnosis if they are exhibiting symptoms that suggest a possible dementia

Ensuring people with dementia are not prescribed drugs to 'control behaviours' ie antipsychotic drugs unnecessarily.

Reviewing the use of antipsychotic medication prescribed for people with dementia living in our care homes.

People living with dementia do not receive controlling or restrictive care that deprives them of their liberty, choice or personhood; the need to revisit and reinforce Anchor's value base and approach to care and support with staff.

Enabling people to have access to activities/hobbies/leisure pursuits they have always enjoyed relevant to their ability to engage. 

2. Actions

  • Dementia Training

    All our employees have received extensive dementia training at levels 1 and 2. This ensures that we have strong knowledge and awareness around dementia and the best and more effective ways to communicate and deal with patients living with the disease.

  • Indoor Garden

    We have an indoor garden that has been developed and created to stimulate those living with dementia both mentally and visually. It gives them a quiet and safe place to go.

  • One to One Dementia Activities

    We have regular one to one dementia based activities with the residents to help them with their memory and to hopefully keep them mentally active and engaged for as long as possible. Some of the activities include picture based reminiscence.