Why are we special?
We have cared for clients suffering from Korsakoff’s syndrome for the past 17 years. No other residential Resource has had longer experience than us in caring for Korsakoff’s clients. We were the first sizeable home, prepared to devote and develop its entire care provision, to care for Korsakoff’s Syndrome clientele.
Since that beginning we have cared for more than 200 clients and encountered the manifold aspects of the disease. Over the years many other homes, social workers, hospital staff and members of the public have consulted us for guidance and advice. Some homes have sections of their home that aim to provide care for a group of Korsakoff’s clients. We have just one category of client and all the elements of our care provision are developed, modified and reviewed for this speciality.
A Person-Centered Care Programme
Korsakoff’s Syndrome is a difficult condition to understand. Our clients are mostly long term and the syndrome will often include mental and physical health issues. We are confident that with our experience and expertise we can provide a person-centred care programme which will build on client strengths and overcome or minimise weaknesses.
At the same time our clients feel safe and secure and generally enjoy the familiarity of the structure of social life and routines at Nightingale House into which their individual likes/dislikes and preferences are integrated. In addition we offer a range of experiences that many clients have never had the opportunity to explore in their previous lives. These features may relate to socialising, eating, personal care, entertainment/ special occasions, hobbies, escorted holidays and outings.
Motivation is an essential skill that experienced members of staff with good training and experience of the clients are well placed to provide.
We do not employ agency staff; understanding of the condition is crucial, taking time and training. Most of our staff and all our Senior Care and Management personnel have extensive experience in this field of care.
Building Self Esteem
Good self esteem, mirrored in a groomed appearance, is a necessary component of our client well being.
As well as secure management we assist clients to set and achieve targets such as overseas holidays, new wardrobes of clothes, outings and other personal objectives; targets which would have been out of reach without professional input, facilities and consideration.
Family Support System
Family contact is actively encouraged and relationships which may have been damaged are often repaired. There is a support system for families whereby we facilitate travel and accommodation arrangements and written and telephone contact from/to family members is assisted. We often arrange seasonal ‘get togethers’ in the home when relatives and friends can enjoy visiting and being in the company of the client in a group setting.
Families feel safe and comfortable enough to visit and communication is often successfully restored.
We liaise with families, friends, representatives, advocates and social workers when we are asked to take on financial responsibilities for clients. Other clients are often in receivership when finances are handled by the Court of Protection. All client finances are comprehensively recorded within the home, are secure and are managed to achieve the maximum benefit, as the client wishes.
We have long serving staff with extensive understanding of all the facets of this care provision. The continuity of staffing is especially valuable to those with memory deficits.
A major aspect of our care planning is, ‘prompted personal care’. All Korsakoff’s clients need some degree of personal care prompting to achieve an optimum level of self esteem. This involves adapting schedules and using various approaches to suit client’s regular and sometimes changing needs, in a manner and at a time which is acceptable to the client.
An optimum level of general and mental health is attained with close support for all medical appointments, medication and good nutrition.
Client anxiety is reduced by avoiding those circumstances and situations which might prompt adverse reaction. This can only be achieved by getting to know the client and his/her behaviour patterns thoroughly, and how they relate to their own specific environment i.e. who they like being with, what aspects of their care they wish to change, which outings or activities they liketo participate in. In short, how they prefer to organise their own life alongside their personal limitations.
Clients usually like the involvement in activities both in-house and externally but need to be motivated and actively encouraged by Care Management and staff. This is a continuing task for all staff with all clients.
In conclusion, we often remark that our clients ‘live their lives in the moment’: their memory deficit predicates on this fact but it is our mission to ensure that ‘that moment’, is the best and most fulfilling it can possibly be’.