Residential dementia care checklist

Residents
The best indication of a good home is that the residents appear happy and responsive.

• Are there rummage boxes around the home to stimulate residents?

• Does the home have a well lit homely atmosphere, without unpleasant odours?

• What arrangements are in place to ensure that residents’ best interests are taken into account if their ability to communicate and/or make decisions is limited?

• Do care plans include reference to the Mental Capacity Act, and Best Interests decisions involving family?

Access
If the person with dementia needs or is likely to need equipment or adaptations you may want to check:

• There is clear highly visable signage and cues for different parts of the home such as the dining room and bathrooms.

• The home’s policy about locking external doors. Does it allow movement for residents, whilst preventing harm when required?

• Are there accessible gardens, with low-level bedding containers to encourage residents to experience the benefits of a garden.

Bedrooms
You may want to find out whether the person with dementia can have a single room and whether:

• Residents are encouraged to bring in some of their own furniture and possessions to increase familiarity. Are residents able to personalise their bedrooms with photos and other personal effects?

Activities
Residents should be stimulated without feeling stressed.
• Are reminiscence activities available?

• Are residents able to compile memory boxes?

• Do staff compile life story books including photographs and mementoes?

Staff
It is important to note whether staff seem friendly and caring towards residents and whether they treat residents with respect.

• Do they have any training and experience in dementia care?

• Will the person with dementia have a member of staff particularly responsible for their care?

• Is there a member of staff you can talk to about your ownworries about the person with dementia?

Manager/head of home
A manager who is caring as well as efficient can make all the difference to a home.

• Does the manager have a knowledge and training in dementia care? Are they visible and open to address any difficulties that may arise in an understanding way?

• Is there a full assessment at home before a resident is admitted?

You can find out more about more dementia at the NHS Choices website: www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Dementia/Pages/Introduction.aspx