See Through Their Eyes blog #4 – The Dementia Support Worker

See Through Their Eyes blog #4 – The Dementia Support Worker

In the last in our series of guest blogs about inclusive design for dementia, Dawn Linnie at Age UK Tameside gives the perspective of a dementia support worker, highlighting the importance of creating an environment that provides comfort and respite for those with dementia.

We see a lot of people with dementia here at Age UK Tameside, and a big part of what we do involves making sure that they are as happy as possible by providing them with respite and comfort to create a dementia-friendly environment.

We do this in all sorts of ways – by putting on meaningful activities that everyone can join in with, by treating our clients as individuals and making sure we understand their personalities and individual needs, and by ensuring that our centre is designed for them in the best possible manner.

A nice example of this is our reminiscence room. It’s a room that we have decorated to remind our clients of a time when they were happy and comfortable. We’ve installed all sorts of period features inside it, such as the wallpaper, the soft furnishings, ornaments, old photographs, and scrapbooks of the 1950s. The idea is that this will take them back to the world of their childhoods, bringing back fond memories and making them feel safe.

Another recent project involved working alongside Gradus and Groundwork to transform our outdoor area into a fantastic greenspace that offers our clients a place for relaxation and reflection.

The change in the outdoor area has been amazing, and thanks to the work that Gradus and Groundwork carried out, our clients now get to walk in through a very green and bright garden every day, complete with the smells and sights of nature as well as grabrails to support them. This puts them in a positive mood before they even reach us. Access to nature is so important for people living with dementia.

It is vital that our clients have the chance to experience the things that make us all happy and contented. This means the way we provide for them as staff, and it also means the way we design our centre in everything from the décor to the fittings. In my role as a dementia support worker, I see the difference this makes to people every single day.

Speak to us for expert advise about how to design for independant living and inclsuive design, including dementia, on 0808 196 5640

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