Dementia Awareness in Elderly Care Homes

Dementia is a term we often hear, particularly concerning our elderly. But what exactly is it?

Simply put, dementia is a collective term for brain conditions that cause a decline in cognitive abilities. Some common signs include memory loss, difficulty in finding words, struggling with tasks, and changes in mood.

In Malta alone, an estimated 4,072 individuals grapple with dementia. Awareness of its symptoms can pave the way for better understanding to accurately support the loved ones in our lives who suffer from this condition.

Dementia Care at Simblija Care Home

Navigating dementia is not easy, neither for the individual nor their family. At Simblija Care Home, our years of dedication to dementia care reflect this understanding. We aim for nothing less than the best supportive environment, embracing a specialised touch.

We achieve this through a holistic approach that takes into consideration a carefully designed physical space, compassionate expert care, and a vibrant community element, rich in engaging activities.

Here, we delve into how each of these facets enhances the life quality of our dementia residents.

Our Butterfly Memory Support Unit

Dementia care takes a lot of thought and planning. Our Memory Support Unit exemplifies this. Designed specifically for dementia care, the unit is a haven of bright spaces and sensory-rich interiors that gently nudge memories and encourage self-reliance. Located on the ground floor, residents can safely enjoy the beauty of landscaped outdoors, all under our care team’s supervision.

Navigation is simple and easy, thanks to intuitive signage and labels that gently guide our residents to where they wish to go. We want our spaces to empower those with memory challenges to embrace their independence as much as possible, in an environment that prioritises their dignity. Safety is also a priority thanks to features like non-slip floors, grab rails, and emergency systems in place. We strive to provide more than a room, but a space where our residents rediscover their potential every day.

A Dedicated Professional Care Team

At Simblija Care Home, we are highly selective, choosing only the most qualified and passionate care professionals, and remain committed to staying abreast of the latest insights and breakthroughs in dementia care, ensuring we provide the finest elderly care on the island.

Of course, caring for dementia residents is not just about expertise and medical treatment, it also requires heart. Our team remains empathic and is equipped with the latest knowledge in dementia care. They prioritise effective communication and endless patience, essential virtues in this field.

We also believe that family matters. The beauty of family involvement in care cannot be stressed enough. Not only does it bring comfort, but it also plays a pivotal role in the well-being of our residents. We understand this, and thus, always encourage families to be part of the decision-making process. By embedding families into the lives of our residents, we cultivate an environment where love, understanding, and collective effort thrive, enhancing the overall dementia care experience.

The Power of Community and Connection

We all thrive on community and connection, and nowhere is this truer than in dementia care. Therapies like music, art, and reminiscence therapies aren’t just activities, they are lifelines that spark memories, kindle joy, and create moments of clarity. They are therapeutic in the truest sense.

Under the guidance of our activities coordinator, Fiona Debattista, our residents enjoy a rich programme of activities at Simblija from week to week. From Noodle Exercises that get the body moving, to the uplifting rhythms of music, and the soothing calm of sensory activities, there’s something for everyone. We also host regular sessions with ‘Dancing to Dementia’ by the Malta Dementia Society.

All these activities are more than just pastimes. They are an essential part of keeping our residents connected to themselves, to their surroundings, and most importantly, to the joyous possibilities of every day.

All in all, our structured approach to dementia care empowers all our memory-impaired residents to thrive, feel safe, and maintain a fulfilling and dignified lifestyle. If your family is on this journey, know you are not alone. Our expert team is ready to guide you, ensuring every decision centres on your loved one’s well-being.

Get in touch today to learn more about our Dementia Care Plans.

Bringing Dignity to Dementia Care

Caring for an elderly parent or relative can be stressful and emotionally distressing for anyone, especially when that loved one begins to show signs of dementia. Anthony Brincat, Head of Care at Simblija discusses common dementia symptoms and how holistic, person-centred care can improve the quality of life for those suffering from dementia.

Unless you’re a qualified professional, it is often difficult to determine between general signs of old age and actual dementia. First of all, it’s important to understand that dementia is not simply a natural process of ageing, nor does it necessarily run in the family. While dementia is not considered to be a disease in and of itself, it forms part of a collection of symptoms, which include Alzheimer’s, that result from damage to the brain. The symptoms will vary depending on which part of the brain has been damaged but will usually manifest in memory loss, personality changes, and sudden mood swings.

Other common signs of dementia include difficulty in concentrating and following conversations, difficulty in remembering certain words, difficulty in carrying out familiar daily tasks, and confusion in time and place. Typically, these symptoms start out relatively mild but will tend to become more severe over time.

Because dementia can have a drastic effect on the quality of life of the elderly, it’s crucial to reach out to a GP or medical professional as soon as you notice any legitimate signs that dementia is setting in. They will be able to determine whether someone can continue to live safely in their home as well as guide you on the best steps forward to ensure your loved one receives the right treatment and care for their needs.

At Simblija, we recognise that caring for a person with dementia requires a specialist understanding and approach. That’s why we have taken great consideration to introduce a range of measures and procedures within our home to safeguard all dementia patients entrusted in our care.

Prior to entering Simblija, all residents undergo a thorough evaluation by our medical team. This helps us to better understand their full symptoms to determine what level of care is required. At Simblija, we offer tailored and holistic care plans that are designed around our residents’ individual needs. As part of our multidisciplinary approach, we carry out regular checks on all residents throughout their stay with us. This enables us to adjust care plans according to immediate needs and recent health developments.

Our Butterfly Memory Support Unit has been specially designed with dementia care in mind. The ward provides a safe and welcoming environment for residents with brightly lit spaces and sensory interiors that stimulate memory and encourage independence. The ward’s one-floor layout is easy to navigate and provides residents with a safe space to gain confidence in their day-to-day routines.

We ensure that wayfinding is made simple and intuitive throughout the ward thanks to special signage, pictures, and labels that clearly point residents to where they want to go. While rooms feature easily identifiable pictures and contrasting colours, which are designed to guide residents to whatever they may need, be it clothing, crockery, or food. Each resident is encouraged to place personal memorabilia and precious keepsakes in a special box outside their room. This ensures they can create positive bonds and emotional touchpoints that inspire a stronger sense of self every day.

Our structured environment empowers all our memory-impaired residents to thrive, feel safe, and maintain a fulfilling and dignified lifestyle. We welcome anyone considering professional dementia care for their loved one to reach out to us. Our highly qualified team can provide guidance, support, and assistance to ease you through this delicate transition while keeping your loved one’s best interests at the forefront of all decisions.

For more information on specialist dementia care at Simblija, kindly contact us.