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Home is where the heart is

Mike Phillips, associate consultant trainer at Meaningful Care Matters (MCM), a care development group that specialises in helping providers to access a variety of support services, explains how to make a care home feel like home.

Creating a feeling of home within Meaningful Care Matters’ Butterfly Approach households is fundamental to our model of dementia care. There is a good reason for this: home is where the heart is, and we focus on how people with dementia feel.

During training courses, I often ask learners about the words they associate with ‘home.’ Their responses include: safety, warmth, family, belonging, calm, comfort, familiarity, attachment, identity and love. It is remarkable that several words from Tom Kitwood’s ‘flower’ about the psychological needs of people with dementia are included in this list.

Although we may not be consciously aware of it, a feeling of home is also a multi-sensory experience.

We take in the world around us through our senses: sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste. These sensory ‘triggers’ are processed by our brain. For example

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