Great dementia care - Getting to Know Me!

Featured article - 09 February 2018
By Caroline Baker, Director of Dementia Care, Barchester Healthcare

Head-shot of the author, Caroline Baker, Director of Dementia Care, Barchester Healthcare

In the advanced stages of dementia, people may have lost the ability to communicate their needs and wishes to us but that shouldn’t stop us from being able to provide great care; not only physically, but psychologically, socially and spiritually.

Within Barchester, we have developed a programme to enhance dementia care in our care home settings called 10-60-06. We hope it makes a good contribution to the debate on how to get innovation scaled up, so that as many people benefit from innovations as possible.

The essence of 10-60-06 is to truly know the person we are caring for, in order to reduce any distress – and to enhance their wellbeing. It is a training and accreditation programme designed to enhance both the dementia care environment and to improve interactions between staff, people living with dementia, relatives and health professionals.

What does 10-60-06 stand for?

The numbers represent the components of the training and accreditation programme, including:

  • ten key things that we must see across a home, including that all staff having completed a course on understanding dementia care
  • there are 60 key components delivered under the ten themes
  • the programme takes at least six months to implement.

That last one might sound daunting but it’s worth it. We’ve seen some amazing results for our residents living in our care homes. And staff have been really enthusiastic about developing new ways of working - and coming up with new ideas.

Robots from the USA

We’ve published a book about our experiences, detailing some of the interventions or activities we’ve introduced. This highlights individual resident responses. Since the book has been published we’ve also been trialling some robotic animals that we got from America. These have proved to be very successful in supporting both reminiscence opportunities and providing comfort and laughter for our residents.

A main theme of the 10-60-06 programme is to encourage family and friends’ involvement in care. They know the resident much better than we do, particularly when they have just moved in with us. And that’s essential to creating innovative ways of working in care and support. Everyone’s input is needed so that innovation can take hold and flourish. We’re proud of our scheme and feel that it’s a great example of innovation.

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