Heartfelt insights into building dementia supportive communities

Compassion is at the heart of everything we do in our care homes. Every day, we’re dedicated to fostering communities where every individual is not just cared for but truly understood and valued. Our commitment to “care from the heart” is a guiding principle that shapes every interaction and decision within our care homes. As Michele Saunders, Aria Care’s Dementia and Lifestyles Manager said, “Creating compassionate communities’ uplifts everyone affected by dementia, being part of a social group decreases isolation, promotes social relationships, and creates memories.”

So, what does it mean to build a dementia supportive community within our care homes? Here, we’ve gathered insights from some of our team to highlight the diverse ways we support our residents.

The impact of youthful energy

Nikki Dunor, our Health & Wellbeing Coordinator at Southlands Place, highlights the intergenerational connections within our communities. She said, “When children are a part of our care home community, you can see those living with dementia enjoy experiences through the children’s eyes. They rekindle their playfulness but also their nurturing side.”

Empowering through education

Sharlene De’Allie, from Sutton Carers Centre, attended a Dementia Friends session at Belmont House. She said, “I thought the Dementia Friends Session I attended was brilliant. I learned that the possible reason why my mother, and some of those I cared for, hesitated to walk into a shop or a building is that they may have thought it was a hole and that the colour of the floor can make a difference to people who have dementia. I aim to change as many entrance mats to dementia-friendly colours as possible. The Dementia Bingo was fun, thought-provoking and a great way to gain information. So overall, it was a brilliant experience that enhanced my knowledge. Thank you for helping me to gain a better understanding of dementia.”

Personalising care with compassion

Nikki Kelly, Home Manager at Mount Pleasant Residential Home, emphasises the importance of personalised care, “It is essential to find out as much as possible about each resident in the home – their likes/dislikes, family, work history, favourite pastimes, hobbies and interests so we get to know what they value and understand what makes them unique. Once we have this, we can tailor everything we do to support them in the way they would wish because what is important to them is important to us.”

Honouring memories and stories

Alex Church, Health & Wellbeing Coordinator at Southlands Place, reflects on the power of storytelling. She said, “When you’re talking about the events that they have lived, something inside them ignites, and memories come flooding back. The conversation is clear and comes with ease. Sometimes, it’s all too easy to forget they have lived, loved, and have a lot to teach us. It’s a pleasure to hear their stories and live them again with them.”

Nurturing individual relationships

Alexandra Thorpe, Wellbeing Coordinator at Wytham House, highlights the importance of building individual relationships, “Our Activities team believe that building a connected relationship with the individual resident is of the utmost importance. We do this by always following the 8 Fundamental needs in dementia care, finding out what each individual person likes and dislikes, always with love, compassion, dignity and a caring hand. We as a team also help by supporting existing relationships and encouraging the person with dementia to join social groups, community activities or hobbies.”

Empathy as a foundation for care

Hayley Rix, Home Manager at Gildawood discusses the role of empathy in care, “Being able to care for people with dementia is one of the most rewarding privileges I have had in my career. Entering their world, exactly as they remember it, and establishing a genuine connection that helps us build stronger relationships, is truly wonderful and so much more than a job. Empathising with how people are feeling, not just those you are supporting but their loved ones too, makes it a real holistic way of caring from the heart.”

Our dedication to compassionate care

At Aria Care, we take pride in creating an environment where dignity, understanding, and joy are at the forefront. Our residents’ personal stories and our staff’s dedication demonstrate our commitment to deeply impactful care. If you or a loved one are considering a care home that prioritises personal attention and heartfelt compassion, we invite you to learn more about Aria Care. Visit us to experience the warm, supportive atmosphere that distinguishes our homes. Contact us today to discuss how we can meet your needs and ensure your loved ones are valued and cared for with respect and kindness. Find your nearest home here: Find a home – Aria Care