Dementia care

Our care homes feature dedicated, compassionate, caring team members trained to the national standards in supporting our residents and their family members to live well with their symptoms of dementia.

What is dementia?

Dementia is a disability, not an illness. And with the right environment and new techniques, it can be managed so that your loved one can continue to have a rich and meaningful life. The name ‘Dementia’ is a collective name for a set of symptoms that have to do with how the brain functions.

People with symptoms of dementia may have problems with their memory - with remembering events or experiences they’ve had, recalling facts and or concepts about their world, remembering how to do routine tasks or thinking ahead of what needs to happen in the future.

They may also have trouble recognising objects, performing everyday activities or understanding and using language.

What are the symptoms of dementia?

The Alzheimer’s Society originally published the following ten signs of dementia. If you recognise these symptoms in your loved one, speak with a doctor.

  • Experiencing difficulty remembering recent events while readily recalling past events
  • Finding it hard to follow conversations or programmes on the TV or radio
  • Forgetting the names of friends or family or the words for everyday objects
  • Repeating the same stories
  • Losing the thread of a thought or a conversation
  • Finding it difficult to think or reason through a situation
  • Feeling anxious, depressed or angry about forgetfulness
  • Comments from other people about your loved one’s memory problems
  • Feeling confused, even in familiar environments and scenarios
  • Increasing difficulty in reading, talking and writing


What makes the symptoms of dementia worse?

A lack of proper nutrition or not getting enough water can worsen the symptoms of dementia. If a person struggles to sleep, they may experience an increase in their symptoms.

Strong emotions such as feeling lonely, bored or helpless can contribute to worsening symptoms as can consistent levels of high stress or fear.


Can you reduce dementia symptoms?

By addressing the triggers listed above as well as encouraging positive relationships and social interactions, it is possible to reduce the symptoms of dementia and improve the quality of life for your loved one. There are sensory activities focused on cognitive functions such as thinking, reasoning, perception and judgement, which can all be affected by dementia.

Our qualified Activity Co-ordinators deliver Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST), a programme of themed activities that provides general stimulation for thinking, concentration and memory. Each session covers a different topic, and the programme runs over several weeks in small groups or individually. CST is an evidenced approach recommended in NICE Guidelines for the assessment, management and support of people living with dementia.

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Dementia care at Gracewell

We know that memory loss affects every resident differently, and our dementia care team values each individual and focuses on their abilities, preferences and needs.

We focus on understanding each resident to provide person-centred care, comfort and security in a familiar and enabling environment. Our teams use a strengths-based approach to enable each of our residents to live meaningful lives with purpose. Every resident will have their own Individual Activity Plan to ensure that the activities we offer meet their interest, abilities and needs.

And, because nutrition and hydration play such a vital part of a person’s wellbeing, our chefs are happy to prepare specialised meals to meet the dietary needs of our residents. We also offer family style dining to help residents engage in the meal-time experience, and our staff site at each table to dine and support social relationships. We also offer colour contrast tableware, and ensure there is stimulating music and aromas at mealtimes to deliver an Enriched Dining experience.


“Carers and residents eating side by side and all together, bottles of wine being poured and smiles all round. Makes me proud to be a member of the Team”

A member of our care team


The importance of family and friends


Of course, we recognise that families and friends wish to be involved with the care and support of their loved one. Our staff support each resident to live a life with meaning and purpose. 


Our teams fully understand the emotional turmoil, the worries and the challenges that living with the symptoms of dementia can bring. To help, we offer families and friends guidance, advice, education and information. 


Working with a resident’s family and friends, we create a tailored care programme that brings together hobbies and activities they enjoy, the career they followed and their favourite music or films.


A safe place to call home


A person living with dementia needs an environment where they feel safe and comfortable. At Gracewell, we encourage residents to bring their photographs and mementoes that can trigger happy memories and remind them of essential milestones in their life. 


Our homes have specially designed features to provide security and a sense of belonging for our residents living with dementia. Sensory-themed and interactive gardens enable residents to enjoy natural light and fresh air outside. And our communal spaces have been organised in a way that allows people to socialise in smaller numbers, which can instil confidence and contribute to a sense of wellbeing. 


Our memory care households are specially designed for people living with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other forms of memory loss. These are calm and secure areas that are designed to promote easy navigation and social interaction. We build on evidence-based design principles to support emotional well-being, way-finding and engagement – through clever use of colour and objects that stimulate memory and activity. 

We also provide skill centres, to provide a sense of meaning and purpose through familiarity. These include:


  • The nursery life skill centre - designed for those residents who have fond memories of raising children or are drawn to a nurturing experience. 
  • The office life skill centre - usually an area that has an attractive, well-supplied desk as its main focus. This desk has been set up for residents to engage in familiar tasks and routines that previously may have taken place at a desk and or in an office setting. 
  • The music life skill centre - supporting our Live with Melody signature programme. It is a designated space where residents can pick up an instrument at any time to creatively and uniquely express themselves through music. A variety of musical instruments will be available for the residents to play, including wooden drums, chimes, and maracas. 
  • The garden life skill centre - a designated area in the outside space for residents to perform life skills associated with gardening and the outdoors. Residents who enjoy gardening could benefit from planting seeds, planning seasonal planting, including flowers, herbs and vegetables and sharing knowledge.


Finding dementia care


Our staff are highly trained and dedicated to helping you find the best care for your loved one. If you would like to speak with us about dementia care, find your local Gracewell and contact us for a chat or to arrange a visit on 0800 0318 042.