As the Chinese Proverb goes "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step"
We have only gone and done it! After many years of trying we eventually have our first site with a planning a permission for a village of 120 housemates (residents) living with dementia at Little Court, just outside Haverhill in Suffolk. The first of its kind in the UK based upon the Hogeweyk concept the village will allow the housemates to ‘be’ as they can be fully supported by the crew (staff) in a safe and secure environment full of familiar things. All the disappointments, knock backs, let downs and false trails seem to matter little now compared with the success of getting out flagship project off the ground. Heady times but with still a lot of work to do. Its certainly been a long and, at times, arduous journey but nothing worth achieving happens without a great deal of blood sweat and tears and CARE and Strawberry Care will be worth it.
Mind you I am just surprised we are the first. It seems blindingly obvious that there is an ever growing demand for dementia care and support whether you look after your family member at home or choose to locate them in a specialised facility. However I can also understand the reluctance to move towards delivering your relative into the current care home market given that approach to dementia care is generally the same as for any other type of care whereas the dementia need is totally different
In this our first blog I wanted to just reflect upon the seriousness of the situation facing many families where dementia is diagnosed. There is little support or advice available as there is little known about dementia and no two dementias are the same. Whilst the clinicians and scientists do their research it is our responsibility to fill the gap by providing a level of care that looks at what the individual person can do, with support, rather than what they cannot do because of their dementia. In this respect we take issue with current government policy. To leave someone with a dementia at home may appear to be the humane and sensible thing to do but there is little chance that an individual family can provide the level of stimulation and meaningful engagement or the physical environment that is best suited for those with dementia in a traditional UK home. And this problem is growing. Current predictions suggest that
Globally the number of people living with dementia will increase from 50m in 2018 to 152m in 2050, a 204% increase
One million people in the UK will have dementia by 2025 and this will increase to two million by 2050
The numbers of people with dementia are predicted to rise up to 35% by 2025 and 146% by 2050.
Source Alzheimer’s Research UK
We intend to keep you informed with our progress on Little Court and also on the other CARE villages we will be creating and to bring our views forward on the delivery of Dementia care in later blogs