New dedicated dementia unit opens at Shrewsbury care home

A new dedicated care unit for people living with dementia has opened at a Shrewsbury care home as part of a major plan to improve services across the county.

The new unit at Briarfields care home in Belle Vue, Shrewsbury, will provide specialist dementia care for up to 12 residents.

It is the first in a series of home upgrades being planned by not-for-profit care provider, Coverage Care Services, as it looks to improve its dementia care services across its portfolio of Shropshire homes.

Known as the ‘Haven’, the newly refurbished unit includes private bedrooms, bathroom facilities and a communal lounge and dining area.

It’s located next to the courtyard and garden to give residents easy access to outside space and parts of the interior decoration have been inspired by a gardening theme to encourage greater social interaction among residents as well as stimulate interest in the environment.

In addition, Coverage Care Services, which operates a further 11 homes in Shropshire, has also invested in a new interactive, digital activity table for the home to help residents improve their cognitive function, coordination, memory and social engagement.

Michelle Yates, registered manager and dementia lead for Coverage Care Services, said: “The staff and residents are absolutely delighted with the transformation of the Haven unit.

“It’s such a lovely, bright space and every aspect has been carefully designed to ensure it makes everyday life easier and more enjoyable for our residents who live with dementia.

“We’ve added a range of visual and sensory items such as garden-themed pictures and gardening tools to act as memory triggers for residents and help stimulate conversations and encourage social interactions and these seem to be working very well.”

The investment at Briarfields demonstrates Coverage Care Services’s ongoing commitment to supporting residents to live well with dementia.

It’s the first in a long series of improvements that the not-for-profit organisation is planning across its homes over the next few years.

Mrs Yates added: “We’ve already installed the same ‘magic’ interactive tables at a further seven of our homes and as part of our three-year dementia strategy we have a rolling programme of work in place to carry out further internal improvements at other homes.

“However, our strategy extends beyond the physical upgrades to buildings — a significant part of our focus and priority is about investing in our staff and their training and development around dementia care.

“As well as running our own internal training programmes, we also continue to invest heavily in third party training providers and dementia simulation to consolidate learning and help equip our staff with all the knowledge, compassion and know-how they need to support residents on a day-to-day basis.

“We now have dedicated dementia champions in our homes who are responsible for delivering support to staff on a daily basis.”

Coverage Care Services is currently looking to extend its team of experienced professionals at Briarfields and anyone interested in applying for a role within the home can visit the website https://www.carehomejob.co.uk/latest-vacancies/jobs/4-briarfields for more information about the latest vacancies.

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