Treat the person, not the condition

Learn more about how Mycarematters could help your care home support those with dementia.

As people live longer, we’re seeing a sharp increase in those affected by dementia. The Alzheimer’s Society predict that by 2025 the number of people living with Dementia in the UK will be over 1 million.

Naturally, the priority is to find ways to significantly and meaningfully improve lives for those living with dementia and their carers.

Zoe Harris, is not only an extraordinarily special lady, she is also the creator of a wonderful social enterprise dedicated to improving the lives of those with dementia and other degenerative illnesses. When her late husband developed dementia Zoe wanted to find ways to improve the quality of his care, first of all at home and during stays in hospital and then for the final thirteen months of his life in a care home.

This experience drove Zoe to set about creating a social enterprise which would lead to the eventual development of an award winning online platform where people can upload the information they would like healthcare professionals to know about them, in the event they are admitted to hospital and are unable to communicate their needs and preferences. The platform ‘mycarematters’ was this year recognised at the Dementia Care Awards winning the prestigious Outstanding Dementia Care Product 2017.

In addition to the online platform, Zoe was also the creative brain behind the award-winning ‘Remember-I’m-Me Care Charts’ which have been adopted by over 1,000 care homes, hospitals and domiciliary agencies, ensuring that all those interacting with a person unable to communicate their needs are aware of their needs and preferences.

As more and more hospitals started to take an interest in the care charts, it was clear one of the biggest challenges facing the hospitals was collecting the information to go on the chart in the first place.  Undeterred, she created a secure portal where people, or someone on their behalf, can upload the information healthcare professionals need in order to treat the whole person and not just their medical condition. Mycarematters was borne. Every individuals’ mycarematters record are available to hospital and carehome staff from the minute they are admitted.

 

Real Care versus the Quick Fix

These solutions prove that it is possible to help people live better with dementia. All of the leading voices on quality care for those with dementia, including The Care Quality Commission are unequivocal on the importance of care providers offering person centred care beyond the condition.  A really deep understanding of what matters to each individual is essential to creating better quality person-centred care for people with dementia.

As we know, the individual with dementia often finds it hard to communicate their likes, dislikes, core values and interests. Knowing who the person is, what they have achieved through their lives, what’s important to them can be the difference between treating the condition versus the person.

Mycarematters securely and reliably collates important information from relatives and caregivers after dementia has set in, or by individuals before the onset of dementia. This is then easily accessible at a glance on a one page fact file. Primary carers can access Mycarematters to find out about the individual and what is important to them or have it printed out when required.

Better Knowledge for Better Care

In a care environment understanding that the person you care for likes tea with one sugar and two digestive biscuits and that they listen to classical music every night to get them to sleep are the insights that will help create a dignified approach to person-centred care for every individual. It is care based on facts, rather than trial and error.

Mycarematters saves time, decreases frustration for the caregiver and reduces anxiety in those receiving the care.

The benefits of the portal are manifest but among the most important are:

Brevity – essential information on a ‘facts at a glance page’ for effective use of time  

Immediacy – quickly and easily accessible important information about the person they care for at the touch of a button.

Transferability – essential information can easily be transferred between homes and hospitals so outstanding care is provided at all times. The information is accessible via any internet linked device.

Empowering Care Staff

Mycarematters is a way to empower care staff to maximise their ability to provide high quality care, while addressing the CQC’s fundamental standards of dignified, respectful and person-centred care. Knowing a person’s background, their preferences for food, drink, music and their likes and dislikes all help staff gain a comprehensive picture to provide better care for individuals with dementia, right from the start. And, importantly, mycarematters plays a significant role in reducing the social isolation that can so often be felt by those with dementia.

If you want to learn more about how your care home can adopt mycarematters to support those with dementia, please visit https://www.mycarematters.org/

StriveCare provides a portfolio of different training programmes into the health and social care sector including the newly launched FastTrack NVQ Diploma in Care. As part of the NVQ Diploma programme pathways can include units focused on dementia and other degenerative illnesses.

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