Rowan & Linden centre in Ottery St Mary provide specialist day care services for people living with dementia. Our prime focus is on supporting someone to live well with their condition and to maintain them safely at home. We offer support and respite to their carers whilst also offering social activity for the person who has dementia.
Whilst our speciality is in dementia care we offer support to people with other mental health changes caused by depression or anxiety and a cognitive decline related to those who are becoming socially isolated.
Rowan provides a 6 week NHS funded assessment of someone’s health.
We focus on:
• Cognitive assessment using a variety of formal and informal assessments
• Mood assessment – including screening for anxiety and depression
• Physical well-being including assessment of falls risk, poor mobility and nutritional risk
• Frailty Assessment – using a simple tool to be able to identify somebody who may be frail or at risk of becoming frail
• Carers assessment
These assessments then enable us to plan on-going support and care for the person and their carer. This may include linking them with other colleagues in the health and social care services – such as our community nursing colleagues and social services.
In the period of January- December 2017 we had 71 referrals into rowan. Of these referrals 34 people came in to complete the assessment.
Linden forms the on-going social day care of the service and runs Monday to Friday. As of the week ending 23rd February we have 52 people attending the Day centre, some of them more than once a week which equates to 75 attendances across the week.
Both the services run alongside each other and people are with us between 10 and 3 o’clock. Our days provide a variety of activities aimed at encouraging social interaction, stimulation, both mentally and physically, and creativity.
We have also recently started to introduce elements of Cognitive Stimulation therapy or CST to our service. CST is a NICE recognised therapy for people with dementia and is nationally and internationally used either alongside or instead of medications. Research has focused primarily on its benefits for people with early onset dementias, but it has also been recognised that people who have social stimulation and activity even as their dementia progresses can benefit from stimulation – if only offering them a sense of enjoyment and fulfilment.
I can now say in a report that we are almost fully staffed across both of the centres I manage. We have me as the Matron, 1 Occupational Therapist, 2 Mental Health Practitioners (who are actually also both Occupational therapists) and 9 Care Support Workers who work both here and at the Conybeare and Willow Centre in Axminster.
We have also recently started to have students appending placements with us and have had both student nurses and student Occupational therapists learning alongside us. it is good to know that we are starting to be able to have an influence on the future of health care staff.
I would like to thank the League of Friends again for our Careflex chair which we are making good use of.
Thank you as always goes to the staff who work so hard to make our centre what it is; but also I must thank the people who attend with us, without their willingness to join in with the activities we offer it would be a very dull place to be.
Victoria Sadler, RN
Rowan and Linden Centre