We have 5 lounges, 4 are on the ground floor. These rooms are designed environmentally to match each stage of dementia (early, middle and later stages).
These rooms are always changing and adapting to the needs of the people living in the home. They also fluctuate in number depending upon the number of people at each stage and to the social characteristics within the home. Each of these rooms has tables and chairs to eat meals for people relevant to each stage. Some people choose to orientate themselves to different rooms to sit with their friends, or maybe because they prefer to have a quick nap in a room in which therapeutic music is being played, they may choose to join in with the activities that are going on.
When visiting the home for the first time these rooms can seem particularly busy in comparison to other homes; this is because most of the people who live in the home do not spend very much of their time in their bedroom or upper floor lounges preferring to be amongst the people who they live with and the staff team.
Early Stages of Dementia
The front lounge is designed to look as homely as possible, with a traditional feel to the room to suit the people living with dementia as they regress back through time. Most people who choose to sit in this room enjoy watching television or a DVD without too much distraction. There is also a good stock of books, board games, etc. It is the quietest and most formal of our lounges.
Middle Stages of Dementia
The 'Snug' as we call this room, is where most of the relationship care takes place. If you want to just chat or 'hang out' with the staff team this is the room to be in. Off this room is the kitchen, conservatory and activities room and the manager's study is the next room along, so it is the hub of the house and where all the staff team gravitate to. We do not tend to put on television programmes on in this room as most of people who choose this room are no onger able to follow them, but we do play appropriate DVD's such as 'Sound of Music', 'My fair Lady', Mamma Mia, Dancing on Ice, these go down really well. We consistently bring out all sorts of 'stuff' from the activities room and encourage the people in this room to be part of running of the home, from washing up to folding laundry.
Later Stages of Dementia
The Conservatory is designed to be visually stimulating, there are plenty of things to look at. We deliberately do not have a television but do have an Ipod which plays traditional music recognisable and enjoyed by the people choosing to be in this room. The staff team bring out lots of the items from the activities room and spread these around the various tables. Twice a day a group activity takes place and one to one stimulation throughout the day.
Advanced Stages of Dementia
This room is where we display most of the activities items. Again this room is designed to be visually stimulating, its quiet with therapeutic music playing, such as bird songs, sounds of the forest and the sea. We offer stimulation of the sensory kind, such as hand massage, touching of sensory materials and sensory items etc.
This area is to ensure that people living with advanced stages of dementia are not in an environment that is over stimulating, an individual living in a chaotic environment causes unnecessary tiredness and withdrawal into themselves. Focusing on what each person 'can do', ensuring stimulation and quality of life, recognising their limited remaining abilities.
In general, some choose a room and stay in that room for most of the day, but most change and gravitate to different rooms for different reasons. Some people who may be enjoying music in the conservatory may then appreciate a DVD playing and move to the Snug. Some of the people in the Lounge may be watching an old black and white War film, but then suddenly appreciate some comedy, or the live music being played in the conservatory by the various visiting singers that we regularly arrange. People may gravitate towards some arts and crafts and some surprisingly just feel the need to do something they have been doing all their life – the washing up!