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Westminster-based Bluebird Care’s recent Care Quality Commission (CQC) Inspection resulted in it achieving an 'Outstanding' rating for its care – for championing services for local people living with dementia.
Bluebird Care is the only Westminster-based homecare organisation to have achieved the highest rating from the independent regulator for ‘Is the Service Caring?’ All other areas of the inspection were ‘Good’ – giving the organisation an overall ‘Good’ rating.
The CQC report said Bluebird Care “had a lead role in championing and supporting people living with dementia, which also impacted on quality of life for people living with dementia who used the service and in the wider local community”. The organisation also ensured staff were specially trained in dementia awareness, including recognising the benefits of music, singing, activities and therapeutic touch.
As part of their work in the community, Bluebird Care owner Peter Slough actively supports the ‘Hymns and Pimms’ groups for people living with dementia and their carers at Grosvenor Chapel, Mayfair, and at the Berkeley Lunch Club at West London Synagogue, Marylebone, where he provides a care worker when needed.
Grosvenor Chapel community events officer Lis Hasted said: “’Hymns and Pimms’ offers support and company for people with dementia and their carers who, due to their circumstances, might find themselves isolated and lonely. From the outset, we have had the full support of Peter and his team, who have been wonderful assets to the group. It is very helpful to have Bluebird Care staff on hand, leaving me free to lead the session, knowing that they can effectively help in an unforeseen moment.”
The importance of integrating customers and their families into the community was highlighted after Peter found himself cooking Christmas dinner for a customer with dementia and her husband. Delivering truly personalised care and support for customers and their families and creating community health care links became a central ethos of Bluebird Care – something the organisation believes is crucial to maintaining happiness and independence.
Peter subsequently founded and chaired the Westminster Dementia Action Alliance group – with the aim of developing the area into a ‘Dementia Friendly Community’ - making everyday life easier for those living with dementia.
He said: “Being around people with dementia really opened my eyes to the everyday difficulties that they face, but also to the joy you can bring them by interacting and treating them as a person first and seeing the dementia second. We analyse any challenging behaviour by a customer, so that we can build things into the care we provide, to stop them getting stressed and give them continuity. I have learned the importance of trying to view the world through their eyes and understanding that small things can create big issues.
“All of us will be affected by dementia in our lifetimes and I am adamant that we should still be able to enjoy our lives and have control over them. Being old doesn’t mean giving up on the joys in life, a little help is all some people need to stay happy in their homes.
“We partner with Dementia Pathfinders to provide specific training to our staff on how best to engage people living with dementia. This gives our staff the skills to properly interact with people and ultimately means them and the people they look after are both happy.”
Anne Cyron, whose mother was cared for by Bluebird Care, until her death in late January said: “My Mum was determined to stay at home for as long as possible. Bluebird Care spent a lot of time with me and my Mum to really understand our needs, what kind of care we required, and what hadn't worked for us in the past. Our carer was professional, reliable and knowledgeable - she was very caring and kind. My Mum was able to stay at home until the last 6 weeks of her life, which is what we both really wanted. When a terrible illness strikes it is difficult to find any positives, but I do feel that with this help I did the best I could for her.”
If you would like to know more about Bluebird Care or for more information about their homecare & support services please call their friendly team.