We are just a house on a street. A family, not so different, really, from any other, making the best of every day.
We provide 24 hour nursing care for adults aged 18 years and over who are living with dementia and/or mental illness; we aim to be person-centred in our care and this may mean that our goals, and the ways in which the Home is presented and operates, differ from more traditional care settings.
Stonebridge is, first and foremost, a home; some of us work here, some of us live here, but whatever we’re doing, we’re doing it together.
We have come to understand that there needs to be a huge shift in dementia care and that the only way to achieve it is to make the commitment – learn, change, grow – be prepared to get it wrong and try again – understanding always that people have placed huge trust in us and the responsibility that accompanies this can be overwhelming if you don’t retain a clear, undimming vision.
We believe that the challenges our residents face can be met, sometimes overcome, when everyone works together – staff, family, friends, health & social care professionals – and that positive relationships between all these groups produce positive, life-affirming care.
We acknowledge the achievements, joys, tragedies and regrets that have shaped our residents’ lives, and know that our position in sharing part of their journey is both a privilege and a responsibility.
We believe in the value of person-centred care, which means that with dementia sufferers, we are constantly striving to achieve a state of emotional well-being and to establish the feelings that lie behind key behaviours or actions. We will do whatever we can to maintain a contented state, and will, for example , try to recreate elements of their working or social & family lives which make them feel secure, loved, valued and wanted.
You may see a resident with a typewriter or an abacus – she may have been a secretary or wages clerk. A lady who was in service or raised a family may be busy with a duster and polish, while a car mechanic or DIY enthusiast may walk the corridors examining the different items left around on tables or secured to walls.
A person-centred dementia care unit will be full of “stuff”, and you will no doubt be encouraged to add to it!
A person-centred dementia care unit will be full of “stuff”, and you will no doubt be encouraged to add to it! We know from current research that a key element of advancing dementia is the need to be busy, to go to work, to be meaningfully occupied. Not for our dementia residents the formality of activity sessions – we aim to have “stuff” going on all of the time, maintaining short but plentiful interactions with all residents. Our staff may not look much like butterflies, but that’s how we want them to work – continuous movement and interaction. Tables with books and newspapers; hat-racks covered with caps, scarves, bonnets; toolboxes; kitchen equipment; lots and lots of ornaments that residents can pick up and take away or deposit somewhere they feel more appropriate! You will find rummage boxes of material of different colours and textures tipped on to the floor for people to pick up, stroke, hold against their face – and before blind panic sets in here, yes, we are acutely aware of Health & Safety , infection control and risk assessment! But we are also responsible for helping people with dementia live their lives in ways that are good and right for them, even if that means learning to cope with situations and activities that seem a bit, well, odd.
We are responsible for helping people with dementia live their lives, in ways that are good and right for them.
I can’t give solutions to all of life’s problems, doubts or fears.
But I can listen to you, and together we will search for answers.
I can’t change your past with all its heartache and pain,
nor the future with its untold stories.
But I can be there with you now that you need me to care.
I can’t keep your feet from stumbling.
I can only offer my hand that you may grasp it and not fall.
Your joys, triumphs and successes are not mine;
yet I can share in your laughter.
Your decisions in life are not mine to make nor to judge;
I can only support you, encourage you, and help when you ask.
I can’t prevent you from falling away from friendship,
from your values, from me. I can only pray for you,
talk to you and wait for you.
I can’t give you boundaries which I have determined for you,
but I can give you the room to change, room to grow, room to be yourself.
I can’t keep your heart from breaking and hurting, but I can cry with you and
help you pick up the pieces and put them back in place.
I can’t tell you who you are.
I can only love you and be your friend.