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Ross Bijak, our Clinical Care Manager

Edinburgh care home pledges dementia training drive to support residents

29 September 2021


Ross Bijak, our Clinical Care Manager

DEMENTIA training sits top of the agenda at a bespoke care home in Edinburgh as it reveals over 80% of its staff have been provided with vital training.

As the home celebrates World Alzheimer’s Month throughout September, Cramond Residence has shared the ongoing work undertaken daily at the home to ensure top quality care is provided.

World Alzheimer’s Month is a month long celebration in September to raise awareness of, increase education around, and demystify dementia, which Cramond Residences supports.

The home has revealed 64% of its 80 staff have been provided with a skilled level of dementia training whilst 84% have undergone an informed level of dementia training as per the Promoting Excellence framework, developed by Scottish Social Services Council and NHS Scotland in line with Scotland’s National Dementia Strategy.

By the end of 2021, the home hopes to have 90% of staff informed and a further 80% skilled, with training offered to staff across all disciplines including the catering team and cleaners – with all new staff encouraged to undertake the training.

Family members and residents are also able to partake and learn more about caring for or living with dementia. Sessions are tailored to individual requirements ensuring even residents with early onset dementia can take part to ensure no one is excluded.

Clinical Care Manager, Ross Bijak, who facilitates the training at the 74-bedroom home said: “Every individual who interacts with someone who is living with dementia has a direct impact on their quality of life, so we believe it is essential as many of our staff have the correct knowledge and training.

“We facilitate dementia support programmes and look to train all members of staff in dementia care – even those who may not be providing direct care – as well as offering support and coping techniques to help family and friends.

“The framework used has been developed by NHS and Scottish Social Services Council as part of Scotland’s wider National Dementia Strategies which in simple terms is to help make people more informed decisions.

“The more people we’re able to help understand dementia, and how to interact and respond to changing needs of those living with the condition, the quicker it’ll become more manageable and less of a taboo subject.”

With more than 10 years of expertise in the healthcare sector, Ross is the key driving force behind dementia training at the home, working closely with the Centre For Excellence of Dementia Care and also recently completing a Master’s degree in Dementia Studies.

Ross added: “While it is mainly myself that is responsible for carrying out the training at the moment; we are in the process of upskilling other staff members so we are able to increase our training offering.

“Having worked in care of the elderly for over 10 years, it’s so refreshing to work somewhere as forward thinking as Cramond who enable progressive and tailored care for residents with dementia.

“Often those with the condition are placed within a ‘childlike’ environment and are segregated from others. We tailor our care to individual residents, and where possible will ensure all of our residents have access to as many of our activities and classes as we are able to offer while making appropriate adjustments.

“We strive to create as homely an environment as possible so as to minimize distress – which can be done via a number of ways, including neutral interiors and the removal of mirrors as some residents can get upset by their own reflection or startled by bright colours.”

Cramond Residence has a dedicated dementia floor, specially designed for those with dementia. However, residents still have access to all classes, facilities and activities to ensure all within the home live a live a fulfilled life.

The home provides a range of activities specially designed to give those living with dementia a richer and more satisfying life, with specialist facilities and trained staff on hand to provide support and relief.

Places in the care home start from £1850 a week. To find out more, call 0131 341 4037.

Discover more about the specialist Dementia Care services offered at Cramond Residence.