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Orchard grows Sunderland's specialist dementia care provision

Orchard Care Homes has opened a second specialist dementia care service in Sunderland.

Archers Court Dementia Care Home in Farringdon will host an open day in September to highlight its Reconnect service. The move follows the successful launch of Orchard’s first Reconnect community at Ashlea Lodge in Millfield in 2020.

The purpose of the Reconnect service is to provide specialist nursing care for people living with dementia who are experiencing persistently heightened levels of psychological distress that are expressed through their behaviour.

Orchard dementia lead Hannah Miller said: “The new Reconnect community at Archers Court will provide nurturing, holistic care that focuses on positive outcomes, improvement in people’s sense of well-being, purpose, and independence. Through focused, individualised support, the aim will always be towards reconnecting people, as far as is possible, to the world around them, to their identity and life. Higher staffing levels will support this, with care that brings all current research together. We have innovative approaches to pain assessment, leading the sector in this area. Detailed evaluation of how physical health impacts on a person's experience and the unintended negative impact of certain medications. Staff receive training, not only about dementia as a condition but supporting meaning occupation, detailed analysis of the causes of distress, effective communication and the law underpinning dementia care.

“We need to move away from the traditional model of care, evolving practice that embraces and values people, does not focus on their diagnosis, but brings joy, purpose, and normality to life as much as possible.

“There is a strong focus on improving the person’s ability to engage meaningfully with life, reduce distress response behaviours and the use of psychotropic medication, and focus on the people not their diagnosis. People living in the Reconnect community will not have previously responded to support in alternative settings or have found previous care ineffective in relieving their distress and reducing risks they pose to themselves or others. They will require high levels of intensive, individualised support. Staff are trained through Orchard’s bespoke, comprehensive training programme to evaluate the complexed causes of distress and develop support plans to reduce the frequency, intensity, and duration of the distress through non-pharmacological approaches.”

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Upcoming Events

The Care Show 2022

National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham
12th October - 13th October 2022

Care Roadshows - London

Epsom Downs Racecourse, Epsom
18th October 2022

The Future of Care Conference North

Pavilions of Harrogate, Harrogate
1st November 2022

Care Homes: Beyond COVID

National Conference Centre, Birmingham
8th November 2022

Care Roadshows - Cardiff

Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff
17th November 2022

Care England Conference

Church House Conference Centre, Westminster, London
16th March 2023

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