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Larchfield House Dementia Care Specialist Care Home

Larchfield are always looking for volunteers, if you have a few hours to spare during the week or even at the weekend we would love to hear from you.

Volunteering can make a big difference to someone’s life seeing you on a regular basis for social interaction and stimulation. This in turn can give you a feeling of personal accomplishment knowing you are making a difference to someone’s life.

It is said that the benefits to a volunteer can be as far reaching as boosting your psychological wellbeing.

Our current volunteers help from the activities and stimulation perspective through to one to ones. You can listen to some wonderful stories about our resident’s lives, get to know what kind of music they like or what they did for a career. As the weather improves this gives us great opportunities to sit in our lovely garden with a cup of tea, piece of cake and a chat. Joining in with larger activities is always welcome, from singing to watching a lovely musical or old time western.

If you would like to know more about becoming a volunteer at Larchfield House why not take a look at our website www.larchfield.care , give Jane a call on 01628635936 Ext 205 or come in to meet the team and have a chat.

Work Experience at Larchfield House

Larchfield House facilitate three Berkshire College of Agriculture (BCA) students for work experience for their NVQ Level 2 – Health and Social Care, working alongside the BCA ensuring we provide the right kind of experience and coverage of their curriculum. Kiera, Angel and Madeen are enjoying their work experience week at Larchfield and are keen to learn.

The girls are joining in with the activity team and helping to engage and entertain our residents. On the other side they are observing and getting to understand what caring for our resident’s means. They are also covering care plans, policies and procedures along with understanding the different types of dementia and what effects this can cause, along with moving and handling training with our Clinical Governance Manager, Kelly Hornblow. They are also working with the Wellbeing Manager, Jane Parker to gain knowledge on how to communicate on the right level and how to speak and approach ladies and gentlemen who are frustrated and agitated, and to understand the causes behind this. This is a wonderful opportunity for us to work with the girls and the college to further their education and knowledge of the care sector.

If you would like to know more about placement opportunities why not give us a call on 01628639428 or take a look at our website to www.larchfield.care or contact info@larchfield.care

Larchfield celebrates Hydration week:

For Larchfield House hydration is very important, all communities have their own hydration stations for cold drinks, juices, water, tea and coffee which are always available. To celebrate hydration week our communities have decorated their trolleys with lots of colour and choice. All fluid intake is measured and recorded on a daily basis to ensure that our residents are having the recommended fluid intake. Staff are trained to encourage our residents to have their refreshments throughout the day.

All hydration stations are the same to residents can relate and recognise when they see them. We also have our reflections café, where residents and their families visit on a regular basis and enjoy the atmosphere with a cup of tea and a piece of cake.

This is one of our hydration trolleys and hydration station

If you would like to know more about Larchfield House Dementia Care Specialists Care Home, why not take a look at our website www.larchfield.care or give us a call on 01628639428

How do memories work?

We have talked about dementia and how it affects the brain in respect of memory, so this is how a healthy brain works. Memory is the word used to describe the process involved with retrieval and storage of information, this is a very important process for a person to function in a normal way.

Memories are something that do not actually exist in the same way as say your arm or your leg. It does not have a physical presence but is a concept which refers to the processes of remembering.

Memories are stored as miniscule chemical changes at connecting points between neurons, (which transmit information to specialized cells that transmit signals from the nerves).

Sensory neurons these are able to detect activity from each of the senses and then communicate the information to the interconnecting neurons.

Interconnecting neurons these pass information through the nervous system and also connect to the motor neurons. I think I am imagining a railway line with interchanges here.

Motor neurons, these connect to the muscle tissue and activate them.

Encoding is a biological occurrence that starts with perception. When we meet someone we visually assess them, we listen to the sound of their voice and also we can register how the person smells. These cues put together form our perceptions which are then sent to the hippocampus which files them altogether to make a single experience.

Information is carried by electrical pulses which transfer the information. These pulses contain information which release chemical messengers called neurotransmitters. Every brain cell can form thousands of links like this.

Memory – The brain filters all the information we take in, things that are notable to us are then encoded into the short-term memory, which has a surprisingly low capacity it can only hold about seven items for 20 or 30 seconds at a time. This is where it is filtered to either go in the bin or be filed into the long term memory. With a diseased brain the information fails to make it to the long term memory.

So how complex is the brain, and now we can imagine when the brain gets damaged by a stroke or by Alzheimer’s, what mayhem this must cause. I would liken it to an old fashioned telephone exchange, you dial a number but the telephonist is lazy and just connects any line she fancies, so you never actually speak to the right person.

Such an incredible complex organ but studies on memories are very much in the initial stages and little is known about its working at the molecular level. So, when you get to the top of stairs and can’t remember what you went for, you can blame your short-term memory.

Activities in late stages of Dementia

We need to remember when providing activities for people living with dementia that we ensure we preserve their dignity at all times. In the later stages, sensory activities can be successful, touch, sound and vision. In Larchfield’s main activity room we have a fish video display playing in down times with soothing music, so when the residents decide to go and have sit or a chat they are able to enjoy watching the fish and listening to the music.

dementia stages - dementia care home Maidenhead Berkshire

Having different textured objects for people to feel and touch or twiddle muffs which tend to be great for tactile experiences. Soft toys, particularly cats or dogs but even better still pet therapy is always amazing and brings great joy to the residents.

If you would like to know more about our Activities why not visit our website dementia care home website or take a look at Larchfield House Facebook page.

The link below offers information and advice on suitable activities.


Communication with someone with Dementia

This is something that some families find very hard, especially in the onset stages. Conversation can be limited and very confusing, ranging from some clarity to totally muddled words. But if you watch hand gestures, understand past working life or hobbies you can sometimes work out the conversation.

Correcting someone is not a good idea, you have to step into their world, otherwise it can cause confusion, frustration and even aggression. Always listen, using eye contact and calm body language and voice tone.

Larchfield House staff have a plethora of experience and knowledge on how to communicate in the best way. Communication is not only with conversation but majorly in body language which will send messages to the person with either calmness or hostility and this will be interpreted by a person by natural basic instinct.

Why not visit our dementia blog, Facebook or Linkedin to discover more about Larchfield House and Dementia.

Please see the link below for further information and study on communication:

click here

Arts and Crafts activities at LH dementia care home

Larchfield House Residents enjoyed an afternoon of arts and crafts today. Lots of pasta, colourful paper and paint to keep us all busy. Although everyone is not able to physically join in they can still pick their paint colours or watch and enjoy the conversation with the other residents and Activities staff.

A lovely afternoon with the sun flooding through the window and some soothing music made this a very relaxing activity. The gentleman below is reviewing his art work with earnest.

Activity session information is available to see on our Activity Schedule displayed within Larchfield House Reception, hard copies on request or view on our Larchfield House Facebook page.

If you would like to come along and join your relative in any of our activities please give Jane a call on 01628 639428 Ext: 205

Animal assisted therapy and nutrition for Alzheimer disease

There is no end to the study taking place for supporting and helping people living with Dementia. This study was around animal therapy, which in this case was fish aquariums placed in dining rooms to see if this had any impact of the nutritional intake of the sixty two individuals living with AD, the studies were based in specialized units.

Existing nutritional data was obtained as a starting point, then followed by a two week observation period when the aquariums were introduced, this was done on a daily basis. Then subsequently on a six week basis. There were significant increases of nutritional intake when the aquariums were introduced and a consistent increase followed over the sixteen week period. And as a result the ladies and gentlemen also needed less nutritional supplements.

An interesting experiment which proved to be successful, one wonders if the calming effect created a more relaxing environment to eat in.

Visit our website pages for more details on dementia symptoms and dementia diseases or you may read more articles.