A pioneering care organisation has invested £250.000 in building a state-of-the art dementia wing, creating up to 10 new jobs.
Blaenau Gwent MP Nick Smith officially opened Tŷ’r Brenin at Plasgeller Care Home in Brynmawr, toasting the completion of an extensive redesign project which has been praised by industry champions Care Forum Wales.
The new facility will offer pioneering, person-centred care to transform the lives of eight residents living with dementia.
This latest investment by Care Inn Ltd, who manage 13 homes across South Wales comes on the heels of a £5 million transformation of the 60-bedroom Anwen Care Home in Pantyrawel, near Bridgend, where 100 jobs have been created.
Drawing on leading research into the field of dementia care, Tŷ’r Brenin will provide a host of interactive equipment to engage residents including a computerised table, reminiscence tools, books, headphones, games, instruments and a huge range of sensory equipment alongside a team of highly-trained dementia care workers.
Opening the new unit, Nick Smith MP said: “Although I have visited Plasgeller Care Home many times over the years, it is a particular pleasure to be invited to open this fantastic new unit which will make such a difference to those being cared for here.
“It is interesting and encouraging to hear about the pioneering methods that are going to be used to improve the lives of those being looked after at Tŷ’r Brenin.
“These new approaches, combined with the unit’s new specialist staff and the experience of existing staff, come together to create a home at the forefront of dementia care.”
The new unit, which includes eight new bedrooms and three communal areas and will have cost £250,000 by the time all the work has been completed, has also been praised by Mario Kreft MBE, the Chair of Care Forum Wales, for pushing the boundaries of dementia care and bringing positive change to the industry as a whole.
Mr Kreft said: “Research has shown by focusing on the individual rather than the illness we can effectively prevent and manage the behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia and improve the quality of life of people with dementia and Tŷ’r Brenin is wholeheartedly committed to this goal,” he said.
“I would like to congratulate the team for the care, thought and experience they have invested into this new unit and for ensuring their residents remain at the heart of everything they do.
“Tŷ’r Brenin really is at the forefront of dementia care and will be an example of all to follow.”
Alex Kelleher, operations director for Care Inn Ltd, said: “We are really excited about this project and what it will mean for local people who desperately need the time, experience and expertise of care workers specially trained to care for them.
“We have worked very closely with the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board to get this unit off the ground and we are grateful to them for their support.
“We’ve studied the research in developing Tŷ’r Brenin but we also have a lot of experience from within the group to drawn upon. We already run these kinds of facilities elsewhere and so we are bringing that learning and practical expertise to enhance what we already offer.
“This unit has been created to improve outcomes for residents with complex forms of dementia who do not respond well in larger units and settings and the emphasis really is on interaction which is why we’re also investing in new technology to support our work.
“The focus here is to provide person-centred, meaningful interaction, encouraging our staff to actively engage with the residents so there is less reliance on medication.
“This is an approach which works for us and is built on strong evidence in the industry. It leads to better outcomes for the residents and that’s the key to offering superior dementia care – positive outcomes.
“With fewer residents to support, there are more opportunities for interaction, positive stimulation and communication in smaller settings and less risk of residents being misunderstood. This especially impacts on those with complex forms of dementia which need a higher level of one-to-one support.
“We will have new, specialist staff to manage the unit alongside some of our existing staff who’ve undergone extensive retraining to deliver our unique, person-focused care.”
During the redesign, construction workers separated Plasgeller Care Home into two sections to house the specialist dementia unit.
Managers are currently identifying potential residents for the new facility with the health board and will be overseeing their transition to Tŷ’r Brenin in the coming weeks.
“Although we are opening the new unit now we are already looking to extend in the future to optimise the space and these plans are currently with the local authority planning department,” said Alex.
“Many of our team have set up units elsewhere and have brought their expertise to this project. We are continuing to benefit from their knowledge and plan to enhance Tŷ’r Brenin in the very near future.”