If you are finding the world overwhealming and struggling to focus this is where you want to be! The staff team limit their converation, no music or TV, just some magazines, its a time out room.
Early Stages of Dementia
The 'Front Lounge' has a traditional homely feel, designed to be similiar to most elderly peoples lounge at home. Most people who choose to sit in this room enjoy watching television without too much distraction. Most afternoons the people in this room choose a film to watch, all TV's have netflix and a good choice of DVD's, we try not to put on 'normal' TV as the adverts can cause confusion. There is also a good stock of books, board games, etc. It is the quietest and most formal of our communal rooms.
Middle Stages of Dementia
The Meaningful Occupation Lounge is where most of the stimulation occurs and is very much the hub of the house. If you want to just chat or 'hang out' with the staff team this is the room to be in, but if you are looking for some peace and quiet you will soon find this room is not for you, although we have created an area specially for those who like to just people watch. This room has many specially designed areas to include, doll therapy, pet therapy, arts and crafts area, with additional storage areas for cognitative therapy, music therapy, reminscence featuring lots of dressing up/beauty treatment and so much more. There is also a help yourself snack bar and a large kitchenette which is designed to encourage people living in the home to focus on the things that they can still do, many still like to wash up, sweep floors, sort clothes, dust etc. We try hard to create situations where the people living in the home feel worthy and proud from doing productive thing with the staff team, who inturn are generous with their hugs and compliments. There is always at least one of the quality of life staff team based in this room from 8am to 9pm who are well trained on reducing anxiety and stress, creating moments of stimualtion, building on relationship care and improving on quality of life to include lots of fun and laughter. This is the room where a lot of sillyness occurs!!!!!
We activly encourage visitors to help themselves to tea, coffee, snacks etc, Covid 19 dependant. We love to see visitng children and families exploring and use all the items. You may wish to wash and set your mums hair, get mum to paint your nails, share the reminisence car area with your dad, have fun in the dressing up area or just wash up together. Most visitors say they soon run out of conversation but we want to you to jump into the mind and world of a person living with a Dementia and have fun together.
Later Stages of Dementia
The Gargen Room is designed to be visually stimulating and is full of items to look at from the floor to the ceiling. We have lots of light therapy and sensory items stored in this room. It has the best view of the main garden and allows the staff team to assist someone in a specialist chair on wheels to go from this room direct onto the patio and down into the lower garden, we even have a tree light show which can be seen from the large bay window lighting up our large listed trees. We deliberately do not have a television on, but can play DVD sensory pictures such as fish or rain forest images with calming music to popular Disney musical DVD's. The staff team bring out lots of the items from the activity cubes and spread these around which are rotated several times a day. One of the Quality of Life staff team predominantly based in the this room, who deliberately move slowly in this area, you will often see them offering hand massage, stroking an indivudals face with a large blusher blush, looking at reminsence photograph books together, exploring a light show, touching sensory items. This room is designed to be particularly peaceful, with lovely views across the gargen. Although this room is designed for people living in their later/advanced stages of Dementia others enjoy the peace and quiet of this room or use this room if they wish to read.
The Upper Lounge
This room is on the first floor and is predominately used first thing in the morning and late afternoon and evening. Waking up in the morning can be the most disorientating time for a person living with a Dementia, so we like people to wake up slowly, this normally starts with putting on your dressing gown sitting in this room and having a cup of tea and a bit of toast in a relatively quiet room. We like to slow down prior to going to bed and we believe the Meaningful Occupational lounge is too over stimulating for this. During the night one of the night staff team is permanently based here, so if an indvidual wakes up during the night and struggles to go back to sleep they can get up have a cup of tea and snack with the company of a member of staff and anybody else who is unable to go back to sleep. We keep a few items of stimulation such as colouring, cards and a few books but we do like to keep these minimal.
The Bungalow is used for the staff training the Wisteria group of homes. It also has 3 small offices - one used by Leanne our compliance manager, one as a meeting room and the last one as a small training room.
When talking about the Bungalow with the people living in the home we refer to it as the Cafe next door. The staff team can easily close all of the office doors and change the main room into a themed cafe such as 'Berts Fish and Chip shop', ' Beryl's Tea Shop', 'Ice Cream Parlour', etc. We will hold many themed parties which can be held in either the main building or the Bungalow, these generally happen twice a month.
You are welcome to use this room for a quiet private family party or get together, please contact Jade the Quality of Life manager.
Some people choose a room and stay in their favourite room for most of the day, but others change and gravitate to different rooms for different reasons. Some people who may be enjoying quiet music in the Garden Room may then like the idea of a DVD playing the film 'Disney Beauty and Beast'. Some of the people in the front lounge may be watching a black and white War film. Maybe listen or sing along to live music being played by the various visiting musicians that we arrange several times a week. Others may gravitate towards some arts and crafts and some surprisingly just feel the need to help do something they have been doing all their life – the washing up!
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 a 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.