6 Jun 2019

Wightman & Parrish

MAKING NURSING HOMES FOR DEMENTIA PATIENTS A POSITIVE ENVIRONEMENT

Many nursing homes across the UK care for patients suffering from dementia. In fact, recent studies have shown that the condition now affects one in 14 people in the UK over the age of 65 and one in six people over the age of 80.

Working within the care home sector, the Wightman & Parrish team often work closely with clients who care for dementia patients. Using our extensive experience within this marketplace, we’ve identified some cleaning tips which can assist carers to provide a positive environment for their patients suffering from the condition.

Scent Recognition

Dementia studies have proven that our senses such as sight, smell and taste can trigger the area of the brain that stores memories. Smelling a scent that a patient has previously used on a personal level can be reassuring for them.

There is a wide range of household cleaning products on the market, along with professional alternatives, that can be implemented into a care home’s cleaning regime to trigger scent recognition.

Furniture polishes like Mr Sheen are used by many households and have a strong, recognisable scent, so using products like this within living areas of care homes may trigger scent recognition for a patient suffering with dementia.

Washing patients bedding in familiar smelling laundry detergents, similar to Ariel or Lenor, can lead to scent recognition if they have previously used it. This could trigger comforting memories from home. 

Eating and Drinking

Dementia patients respond positively to colour recognition in eating and drinking aids. Dalebrook, a supplier to Wightman & Parrish, have designed the OMNI range with this in mind. The manufacturer has created a range of plates, bowls and cups with coloured rims to assist and support with location recognition. This also aids those with partial sight or other visual impairments. These advances encourage independence and dignity for the patients when eating and drinking.

Comfort is Key

Patient comfort is a high priority within care homes and identifying the right mattress for the individual based on risk is important for all, regardless of ailment.

There are two main types of mattresses designed for care home patients; static and alternating.

Static mattresses tend to reflect normal household mattresses in the sense they are likely to be more of a solid mattress. These come in a range of designs based on the patient’s risk factor surrounding pressure sores.

Alternating mattresses have a unique design that supports the body through rows of inflatable tubes. These tubes can manually or automatically be inflated and deflated based on the patient’s requirements to suit their body shapes, sizes and risk of pressure sores.

Sensor Pads

As a result of dementia, memory loss can cause patients to panic and forget where they are. TreadNought sensor pads are designed to be laid flat on the floor next to beds to notify staff when patients have stood up. This is a useful tool when caring for patients whom are of higher risk, that are not meant to be out of bed without support. TreadNought connects with most nurse call systems so they are able to send an alert to pagers that notify the nurses where they are needed – especially if the dementia patients are of high risk.

To view the products listed in the article, please visit our online store.

Small touches like this in your care home could support the experience of patients with dementia. Along with the range of products laid out, there is a lot that can be done to improve the care home environment not only for dementia patients.

Our team of dedicated client managers are available and on hand to advise you of the best practises and solutions available to improve your care homes.

To find out more about how Wightman & Parrish can help your business and tailor how you can cater for your patients, contact the team today on 01323 445 005.