Staff at The Chase Care Centre in Watford have welcomed their youngest ever ‘Dementia Friend’.
In early August, 10-year-old Kai Roberts, who lives in Wales, went to the home to visit his Nanny, Jo Mosses, who manages the home. Whilst visiting, Kai quickly demonstrated his natural, caring demeanour with residents, many of whom live with dementia.
On his first day at the home, Kai saw that one of the residents was becoming distressed. He quickly sat with her, calming her down by reassuring and speaking to her before staff took over. What was a one-off visit to see his Nanny became the start of a week-long work experience visit as Kai came back to The Chase each day.
Here he helped run activities, sporting events and coffee mornings and even came up with ideas and suggestions to help the residents have fun. Having seen the wonderful impact he made in the home, the team have made him their youngest ever ‘Dementia Friend’.
The ‘Dementia Friends’ initiative, launched by the Alzheimer’s Society encourages individuals to learn more about what it's like to live with dementia and to turn that understanding into action - from telling friends about the condition and how to support people, to visiting someone you know living with dementia.
Staff at the home, which provides residential and nursing care for up to 110 residents and is part of the Healthcare Homes Group, has a number of initiatives in place to improve the care and support available to people living with the condition.
Kai’s Nanny, Jo Mosses said, “We were really bowled over by what an impact Kai made on the home in such a small space of time. He was only coming to see me, and to learn about where I work, but straight away he got involved with the staff and spent time with the residents, displaying a really natural way with everyone here.
“It was a delight having him here and the residents loved him. I will now be looking at welcoming young volunteers from the community into the home to spend time with us and to learn more about dementia, so that as a community of every age, we can provide even better support.”
Kai was presented with a Dementia Friends jumper, t-shirt, mug and pin to reward him for his impact and he will be returning to the home for a visit before the end of his school holidays.
Kai said; “I really enjoyed helping out at The Chase and didn’t want to leave. I’ve had a great time and have made some lovely memories with the residents, especially Patrick.
“I’ve asked my Nanny if I can come back to help again as a dementia champion and I’ll be telling my school all about it.”
For more information on the range of residential and respite care services available at The Chase, telephone 01923 232 307 or visit www.healthcarehomes.co.uk.