We set out below some of the questions most frequently asked by prospective residents or their families and representatives and the answers we give to such enquiries. However, if you have any questions please feel free to ask us. Additional information, including a copy of our most recent inspection report, can be viewed in the Information File in the entrance Hall.
Is the care you provide any different to other homes?
We use the ‘Validation’ method, a practical approach based on knowledge about and empathy for the progressively isolating experience of people with dementia. This emphasises communication techniques based upon whichever stage the person with dementia has reached.
Our belief is that older people with dementia need to feel secure and comfortable if they are to get the most out of their lives and this is central to the way that we care for the people who use our service. We work closely with residents, their families and friends and the various professional’s who may also be involved in supporting them, to gather as much information as we can about the person’s personality their likes, dislikes, life history, experiences and influences as we believe that this information will help us to better understand the person’s behaviour and build relationships with them.
For many people who have dementia their behaviour is influenced strongly by fear that is created by them having a deep sense that something is not right with their thinking and memory. It is this fear that often creates behaviour that can be hard to understand in a person who has dementia. As the person has reduced logical thinking ability and their ability to memorise and verbalise feelings and thoughts is often affected, attempts to try and explain how they feel are impossible. At Aranlaw House our staff are trained to recognise and allay fear in the residents we care for so that their personality is more readily visible and we can identify those abilities that have been least affected by the person’s dementia and work to maintain these, whilst supporting the person in the areas that are the weakest.
Is the environment at Aranlaw House, Regency Manor &Seabourne House fully suited to caring for people with dementia?
It’s not just the care that we provide for residents that is a bit different; we have made numerous changes to the house and gardens to ensure that these areas provide the best possible environment for the people who use our service. These changes are in response to research material that evidences how certain design and environmental features can result in significant improvements in the quality of life for people with dementia living in residential care homes.
As we get older our vision deteriorates as the result of normal age related changes; these include reduced night vision, less acuity, some colours being more difficult to see, reduced peripheral vision and being less able to detect the differences between objects that do not have strong colour contrasts. In older people with dementia these normal changes and other sensory changes cannot be understood or communicated in the same way as thinking ability and the ability to problem solve are affected by dementia. This can often result in the person with dementia making ‘visual mistakes’ as they try to make sense of what it is they are seeing. This can lead to the person feeling disorientated and frightened and their behaviour will change accordingly.
As well as the person needing input from skilled staff to help to reduce their fear there are numerous design features that can help to reduce these visual misperceptions; we have prioritised lighting, signposting, use of colour and other visual cues when making changes to the environment at Aranlaw so that the people who use our service feel a sense of wellbeing and reassurance in an environment that encourages familiarity and feels ‘homelike’
We use special signage to assist recognition where needed; specially commissioned bedroom door plaques are in place, these contain the occupants name and a picture or visual image that may help the resident to locate their room. Brightly coloured images portray different themes on each of our corridors, such as a street, garden or beach themed corridors. The different scenes and brightly coloured familiar images stimulate the visual senses of the person with dementia and greatly assist in helping residents recognise where they are and to find their way around more easily. Our handrails are all topped with a brightly coloured band that helps residents to locate the handrail and increases their safety and independence when walking. Probably most striking of all are the brightly coloured bedroom and toilet doors which can be more easily seen by those people who have visual loss or problems with identifying contrast.
Outside our gardens are secured by a wall and wooden gates that can only be opened via a coded key pad. Many of our residents like to sit at the front of the building and watch people and traffic as it goes up and down Tower road. We also have a sheltered decked area outside of the ground floor lounge that is often used for activities. Our rear garden is fully enclosed and specifically designed to be a space that older people with dementia will benefit from using. There is a continuous walkway that allows for residents to walk safely around the sensory garden, using the handrail to support them and feeling the sense of well-being that comes from the sight, smells and memories they might have of certain plants or trees whilst getting fresh air and exercise in a secure environment. There is also a patio area and a fully accessible raised flower bed as a focal point.
What is the process for admission to Aranlaw House, Regency Manor or Seabourne House?
When you first make an enquiry about Aranlaw House, Regency Manor or Seabourne House, we will send you some written information, which will include our Residents Guide. You are always welcome to visit and look around the home. You can come at any time and do not have to make an appointment. However, if you wish to spend some time speaking with the manager or deputy manager, it is best to telephone beforehand to ensure they do not have previous appointments.
We understand that making a decision about residential care is a very difficult one. That is why we say you are welcome to visit as often as you like to help you in making the decision about whether or not our Care Home is right for you. We are very proud of our homes and the facilities it has to offer, but don’t just take our word for it, come and meet us, sample a meal or join in with an activities session. Talk with our staff and meet the residents. We will be very happy to show you around and answer any questions you may have.
Before any admissions can be considered, we always complete a pre-admission assessment of needs. Either the manager or her deputy will meet with the prospective resident to undertake this assessment. This is a very detailed process where we gather information about all aspects of the care needed, including health, psychological and social care needs. With the prospective resident’s agreement, we also like to gather information from other sources, such as relevant professionals (E.g., doctors and nurses where applicable) and family members. This will help us to form a detailed picture of all aspects of the prospective resident’s care needs. We will then have a meeting to decide whether we can meet those needs. You will be informed of the outcome and this will confirmed in writing.
What happens on admission?
Once you have decided to make our home your home, we will ask you about the colour scheme you prefer for your room. Prior to any new admission, we always offer to decorate the room to the colour of your choice.
We will draw up a care plan, based upon the information obtained during the pre-admission assessment and any subsequent information obtained after admission. Such information will help to inform our staff about all aspects of the care needed and how these needs will be met.
All residents are admitted into Aranlaw House or Seabourne House for a trial period of two calendar months. At the end of this time, a decision will be made with the resident and/or their relatives or representatives as to whether they wish to stay and become a permanent resident. If during this trial period it is decided by either party that Aranlaw House or Seabourne House may not be the most appropriate placement, then a notice period of only one week is required.
Can residents bring their own furniture with them to Aranlaw House, Regency Manor or Seabourne House?
Residents are welcome to bring as many items of their own furniture with them as will safely fit into their bedroom. However, we ask that you agree this with us beforehand as all our rooms are usually supplied fully furnished. We may ask to inspect furniture to ensure that it is safe to use. As part of our admission process we will ask you what colour you would like your room painted. This is so that your room feels as comfortable as possible and allows you to put your personal stamp it!
What else can residents bring with them?
Residents are also most welcome to bring other items, such as pictures, photographs, bedding, a favourite teddy or soft toy, or ornaments to personalise their room and make it feel as much like home as possible. Should any help be needed in putting up pictures etc, we will be happy to provide this.
When can residents have visitors?
We want all of our residents to think of Aranlaw House or Seabourne House as their home, so there are no restrictions or set visiting times. Residents can receive visitors whenever they wish, but we ask that meal times are avoided if at all possible. Of course, visitors are welcome to join residents for a meal if they wish. We supply beverages to visitors free of charge, but we ask for a contribution of £5 if a visitor is staying for the three course lunch or supper meal and £3.50 for breakfast.
We just ask that all visitors sign themselves in and out, using the Visitors Book in the entrance hall.
Are staff always available to provide help if needed?
We provide 24 hour care, so there will always be someone available to provide assistance whenever required. All bedrooms, bathrooms and toilets etc are equipped with a call bell system to summon help if needed.
Aranlaw House, 26 Tower Road, Branksome Park, Poole, BH13 6HZ (01202 763367)
Seabourne House, 1 Clifton Road, Southbourne, Bournemouth, Bh6 3NZ (01202 428132)