Norfolk Care Awards 2018 – Winner: Excellence in Delivering Dementia Care – Kevlin House


Kevlin House is a small family run care home in North
Walsham. The home accommodates 14 older people with dementia, with a team of 18,
whose role it is to make a warm and homely atmosphere.

The team pride themselves on providing meaningful,
relationship focused care; based around each person’s individual needs and
wishes. They value and respect how each person wishes to spend their day.

Kevlin House ensures flexibility towards the individual care
of the people who live there, it is all about the individual person and how
they choose to live each day. They encourage people to become involved in the
daily living activities of the home and encourage meaningful occupation. They
thrive as one big family, just people living and working together.

They have a clear model of dementia care that the team
understands, supports and work towards. They work hard to eradicate
institutionalised care and periods of neutral care. Achieving this with a
24-hour approach to care, in as much that they have a fluid approach to tasks,
thus removing any task based care.

People are treated as individuals with differing needs which
is clearly reflected in their care plans. People need to feel as if they still
matter and have meaning in their lives, the staff team understand this.

Kelvin House are passionate about creating positive outcomes
for people and encouraging them to continue with the things they have always
done and still like to do, for example hobbies, being part of the community,
and socialising.

Staff understand that people with dementia can be feelings
based, ‘it’s the way they talk to people and not what they say that will be
remembered’.  Therefore staff understand that
it is a smile, laughter and a comforting touch that connects with a person
experiencing dementia. They understand how they need to join people in their
‘own bubble’ rather than trying to enforce reality upon them. There is no ‘them
and us’ they understand people with dementia need to have the comforts and
experiences that we all do. To feel loved, have a feeling of wellbeing and a
purpose in life. Staff understand everything a person with dementia say and do
make perfect sense to them and it is up to us to interpret this. This approach
makes a real difference every day to the people who live with them.

Staff have attended the virtual dementia tour training which
has further enhanced their insight and understanding into the daily lives of
the people who live with them.

Staff take time to understand the meaning behind the words
and actions of the person and respond to the feelings of what the person is
trying to say and not challenge or correct them, instead listen, and go with
where the communication is guiding them.

Kelvin ensures people still have meaning to their lives and
are busy and engaged in something that seems worthwhile. They aim to help
people feel busy, useful, occupied and fulfilled. It is important to help
people feel they still have purpose. Sensory activities are also very
beneficial, so the focus is on touch, taste, smell, hear and feel. This means
the TV hardly ever goes on except on film nights, the residents are too busy
interacting or getting involved in activities to watch television

It is also important to focus on what a person ‘can – do’ as
opposed to what they can’t. This is discussed at the care planning stage aiming
to maintain and support personal skills. The aim is to bring out the best in
the person.

Kelvin House has created a calm atmosphere and the staff
respond positively and effectively to the needs of the people who live in the
home. They see all behaviours as a way of trying to communicate, it is about
the person’s feelings and not because they are being difficult. They provide
understanding, love and comfort rather than giving medication as a way of
keeping people calm.

Kelvin House feels that communication and language is
important and spends a lot of time with staff getting this right.  The Care Plans are a strength focussed on
ensuring that staff concentrate on what people can do rather than what they
can’t do.  Staff are trained on how to
occupy a person in a minute or less to ensure everyone is occupied and
residents live their life to the full.

Residents have been encouraged and supported to develop
friendships with other residents.

They have lots of comfort objects such as soft toys and
dolls, many people with dementia gain comfort from cuddling or holding onto
something as a way of gaining comfort and also a useful role as ‘nurturing’.

Kelvin House involves friends and family in understanding
the person to enable them to feel comfortable with this and to help that the
person feels good about themselves. Encouraging family involvement with life
histories to assist us to see the whole person and not just the older person being
cared for today.

Recognising that people still need to feel in control, can
decide for themselves, choose things in however small a way, not be governed by
set rules regulations or routines, can do or go wherever they wish with
support. This means things are done a little differently i.e., people eating
meals outside of the set times, wearing night clothes during the day, not
always being dressed in a way we would see as ‘appropriate’. They support
relatives and friends to understand that staff will go with what the person
wants first, it is important to accept the person with for who they are at that

The Manager and staff team pride themselves in making each
day different for the residents.
Residents who are bed bound have one to one time with carers. They do not have an activities co-ordinator
as it is the responsibility of all staff to ensure residents are busy doing
things that interest them.

There were people baking mince pies, residents are encouraged
to use the kitchen to prepare drinks and food for themselves with the support
of carers or the kitchen staff.

As residents are unable to go on holiday during July and
August they had a cruise day once a week where they brought a country to the
care home.  They cook the country they
were ‘visiting’ food, they dress in the countries national dress and they do
activities that are popular in the country they are visiting.   They have been to Spain, Ireland, Tobago,
Malta (as one resident was born in Malta but had not returned in 60 years),
India and China to name of few.

Staff are encouraged to bring their children into the home
and this is beneficial to residents spending time with children doing
activities in the lounge.

One resident does all her own washing as this is important
to her.

They provide end of life care and pride themselves in making
it as comfortable as possible for people with dementia.  Everyone is trained to provide end of life

The home has been involved with homeless people in Norwich, through
Help the Homeless.  They collected
clothes for homeless people and staff and residents were involved in sorting
the clothes.

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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