Perry Tree Centre is a care centre on the outskirts of Birmingham that delivers services for older adults. Within the centre, there is a residential care home, community links to service and an assessment and rehabilitation facility. It is also home to the Erdington Elders Group which gives support to older people in the area and is run by NHS Birmingham East and North.
Perry Tree has been specially designed to support adults with a range of needs including those arising from dementia. This award winning facility has been recognised by the University of Stirling as a DSDC Gold Award winner. The award is given in recognition of top-quality dementia design, based on the adoption and implementation of evidenced dementia-friendly principles. Perry Tree is amongst a very limited number of centres in the UK to have been credited with the award.
The ethos of the centre is to support through behaviour management, focusing on an individual’s life experience to ensure their feelings are acknowledged and validated. The healthcare professionals, housekeeping teams and catering staff at the centre all appreciate the importance of understanding the triggers for behaviour in residents with dementia. The layout of the home, interactions with residents and supplementary therapies are all designed to avoid disruption, fear and distress.
Everyday life at Perry Tree is mindful of individual resident’s needs and desires. The gardens can be used for relaxation, a place to indulge in a hobby or even as a source for vegetables. Meals are served in dining rooms or residents can make use of specially designed kitchens to prepare their own food. Perry Tree has also experienced great results with animals in the centre, including rabbits in the garden and pet therapy, where special visitors such as dogs and donkeys drop in.
Resident dignity is paramount and great care is taken to protect individuals from unnecessary upset. Unfortunately, people with dementia, or any cognitive impairment, have a greater propensity to fall than other adults. The fallen person needs to be returned to their feet or chair as gently, quickly and comfortably as possible.
Perry Tree uses the Mangar Camel to lift fallen residents and it is their preferred lift of choice. The lifting cushion is portable enough to be used in the most awkward of places, inside or out, and delivers a solid lift very quickly. They report residents feel secure on the Camel and associated distress is kept to a minimum. By using the camel, the fallen resident’s personal dignity is protected as clothing can be adjusted to ensure privacy is maintained.
The Camel can be packed away into a small space when not in use. It is easy to use meaning all staff, from housekeeping to managers, can be called upon to implement a lift without requiring specialist training. This means if someone falls, they do not have to wait for a specially trained member of staff to be located before a lift can happen.
Delroy Bonnitto, the service manager at Perry Tree, believes the Mangar Lifting Cushion complements the dementia-friendly principles of the centre by reducing the risk of behaviours that can be triggered by other types of lifting equipment.
He says, “Using the Mangar lifting cushions means our residents can be raised to their feet with minimal fuss. They are comfortable, dignified and don’t feel as though they are causing a scene and upsetting fellow residents. This means anxiety levels are kept to a minimum, which is vital for anyone with dementia”.