If you imagine a well organised modern institutional care unit where the staff place pride in their smart uniform, rules being clearly printed on the wall, where routine is paramount and everything is so neat and tidy you thought you were in a hotel - you have just imagined the opposite to Wisteria House.
We are three small independent homes, with a local owner, we are not governed by large corporations policies and procedures. The staff team can be incredibly flexible in the choices that we offer, from how you would like your bedroom furnished to the activities that we offer.
We are a traditional home with furnishings familiar to an elderly person that include lots of stimulating and memorable items spread around the lounges. We like Wisteria to be treated like a home to be enjoyed, not a health care unit.
The staff team do not wear uniforms as we like to come across as a friend who is there to assist and not to just put on a uniform which says ‘I know best’.
‘How can you make a meaningful connection and build on a genuine friendship if one person is wearing a uniform?’
Feelings Matter Most
At Wisteria House we believe that as a person’s dementia progresses and their cognition (ability to make decisions) deteriorates, they go from being thinking beings to ‘feeling’ beings. Most of their decisions and communications are based around their present feelings and their sense of reality. In the home we try hard to ‘jump into their bubble’, their world, and connect with their present feelings, interpret their words or communications, regardless of how irrational these may seem to us. No one would choose to have anxiety, stress and fear or live in a chaotic world so we try hard to create a home and offer care which is calming and makes sense.
Where possible the staff team have removed, or at least reduced all barriers to ‘them and us’. As a family, we share everything, as a family would, we eat the same meals at the same time in the same room, even our tea breaks are a family affair, we do not wear uniforms, some of the team even wear slippers around the house, as you do at home, we do not have a staff rest room or separate facilities, routines are kept to a minimum and we have no labelling language. We activley encourage and help people living in the home to safely use the kitchenette and help themselves to snacks and drinks.
Everybody here is equal and we feel this is their home and needs to be treated as such.
A message from the Owner
As part of my course in Relationship Dementia Care through Surrey University, I am trained to observe, monitor and record the level of quality of life within the home. I am proud to say that we have extremely low levels of sleep and inactivity throughout the day and very high levels of independent stimulation and social communication, including much laughter and affection. Compared to the national averages we as the Wisteria House group of homes offers exceptional standards of relationship care. We believe by matching the communal rooms to stages of living with dementia and the staff team's camaraderie and positive enthusiasm for their chosen role in life, has been a significant part of achieving excellent outcomes. - Louise Collins