A specialist dementia floor has been officially opened at Stratton Court care home in Cirencester by The Countess Bathurst.
The ceremony was also attended by Sir Geoffrey Clifton Brown MP, Cirencester mayor Patrick Coleman, other councillors and medical professionals on Friday.
Stratton Court has opened the floor in its building specifically for dementia as part of an innovative new care service and to help combat the lack of beds for the condition in Gloucestershire.
Ran by Aura care Living, the unit has an initial 20 beds open to the county with more to come by the end of the year.
A staggering 21 per cent of people over the age of 65 are diagnosed with the condition with the overall figures for the Cotswolds showing that 25.2 per cent are living with a dementia diagnosis.
The specialist Dementia floor has been specifically designed incorporating many of the sterling design principles for dementia care with a special murals and cognitive themes created throughout the floor called ‘Memory Lane’, a succession of pictures from the past including bright colourful images of old shops, running all the way through its main corridor and access area.
“Memory Lane is an idea we have come up with through research into the disease and how it affects the sufferer,” explained Aura Care Living CEO Linda Lloyd.
“We believe that we are providing something different in care by focusing on dementia as it is becoming the country’s biggest killer.”
Home manager Anne Duffy said: “We truly believe we are delivering something quite different here due to a nationwide lack of dementia care.
“We have worked with various experts in this field and are in the process of recruiting and training all staff, from nurses to chef’s to laundry personnel in dementia and dementia care.
“We have also consulted with families of our current dementia residents to gauge their opinion and advice on how and what has worked when managing their relatives who have the disease.”
This sentiment is also shared by Jenni Organ, the senior nurse at Stratton Court who has worked in and around dementia for 20 years.
“For us it is about bringing knowledge and a skill, to what we believe, is a holistic care,” she added.
“Understanding dementia is about understanding the individual, their life, their journey.
“It is about supporting the family as well as the person.”