Balhousie Care Group has created a dedicated team to manage its dementia services, as part of its commitment to be the best in dementia care.

The 25-strong care home group has promoted Yvonne Manson, who heads up its dementia services group-wide, to Operations Dementia Manager. An award-winning expert in dementia, Yvonne was formerly dementia nurse consultant. Balhousie Care has also created two dementia facilitator posts which are filled by Cheryl Davies, previously manager of Balhousie Stormont Lodge in Blairgowrie, and Emma Roberts, a long-time care home nurse who was involved in opening a care home unit specifically for people with dementia.<

Balhousie Care’s first meeting of dementia ambassadors – dedicated individuals in each care home who ensure that the group’s best practices in dementia are filtered through to all care home staff – took place in January. Topics for discussion were cognitive stimulation therapy, which provides meaningful activities to help with memory and mental functioning, and Namaste Care, which provides multi-sensory therapy, music and massage for people with advanced dementia.

Yvonne, winner in 2018 of a RCNi Leadership Award and National Care Award for leadership for her dementia work, said:

“Cheryl Davies supported activities coordinators and wellbeing coordinators with psychosocial interventions before becoming manager of our Stormont Lodge care home. She comes with a wealth of knowledge but is also aware of the day to day pressures and demands in the running of a care home. Her skills will add a huge amount to the new dementia services team. We appointed Emma a few months ago and she has already started an MSc in gerontology and dementia, a three-year commitment. These two appointments mean we are able to offer more services and support to our dementia ambassadors which has already started with the launch of our yearlong enhanced dementia program.”

The news follows Balhousie Care’s announcement last month that two of its care homes, Balhousie Rumbling Bridge in Kinross and Balhousie North Grove in Perth, are achieving record levels of dementia care. The homes achieved the group’s best scores yet in dementia care thanks to its activities and staff communication. Part of Balhousie Care Group’s delivery of excellent dementia services is to continuously monitor or ‘map’ residents’ experiences and score staff and homes accordingly.