Qualitative evaluation of museum resources for care home residents with dementia

Chadborn, Elaine Argyle, Jonathan Coope and Louise Thomson

A new reminiscence
programme for care home residents with dementia consisted of training for staff and a series of museum resource
boxes. We evaluated the intervention using Dementia Care Mapping (DCM)
of facilitated sessions in five care homes. Here we present qualitative
observations of residents and staff. Furthermore we interviewed staff to
explore their views and practices.

Here we describe the qualitative observations within DCM. During
activity sessions, residents were engaged and interested in the resources. We
observed a variety of responses of residents to the objects, which may have
been associated with different stages of dementia. During a Royalty themed
session, one lady complained that it was ‘bad manners’ to be passing around and
looking into someone’s handbag (supposedly belonging to the Queen). Other
residents were observed waving flags, wearing a crown and reading books.
Residents engaged with each other and with the staff who facilitated the
session, for example joining in singing. Observations of staff behaviours were
reported within categories of DCM; occupation, inclusion, comfort and identity.
Many of these were noted as enhancers of person-centred care, although some
actions were noted as detractors. The latter were mainly due to constraints of
the space or time available.

Interviews with staff indicated that the intervention was an
improvement on previous activities. The historical themes prompted staff to
engage with personal history of residents and enabled a closer rapport, which
may facilitate person-centred care. The training appeared to support the staff,
and gave them confidence and ideas.

Published by Residential Forum

The Residential Forum is to promote the achievement of high standards of care and support for children and adults living in residential care and nursing homes, supported housing, residential schools and colleges, hospices and hostels. It contributes to improving the quality of service to the public. Members of the Forum are people of standing and experience drawn from the public, private and voluntary sectors, as well as some who can speak for service users and carers.

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