Patient monitoring built in to dementia care home

22 July 2008

Birch Abbey, a care home for dementia patients in the English seaside resort of Southport, is being rebuilt with a broad range of care services and features, including integrated patient monitoring technology.

Birch Abbey has pioneered an award-winning specialist dementia patient monitoring system, MyAmego, that is now being installed in care homes internationally.

Dan Lingard, Chief Executive of Altrincham-based Melton Health Care Limited, which owns Birch Abbey, is a former software developer working with IBM and the BBC. He says much-misunderstood dementia needs to be fought, and sufferers supported and inspired rather than simply have their basic needs attended to.

"Without having to close our doors, we are completely rebuilding Birch Abbey so that we will be able to accommodate 60 clients, and rather than simply gearing it to provide basic food, hygiene and life care for clients, we are designing in — from scratch — technology, accommodation, entertainment, activity, social interaction and a broad range of care services and features that have never been seen together under one roof in the care industry," said Dan Lingard.

"But, crucially, this is not just about a building — it is about an attitude to dementia care, service and support. We looked at more than 50 care homes when we decided to invest in this project. We chose Southport because the care home staff and senior professionals in the area are the most skilled, had the best attitude, show the best response to the needs of dementia sufferers and are the most caring and compassionate.

"Our new Birch Abbey will be a revolution in care services for people with dementia and their families. To us it just felt right that Southport with its long tradition as a caring community should lead this revolution and the birth of a new era in care."

"There are two issues — firstly, driving an understanding that, while the onset of dementia cannot be reversed, it can be contained or slowed, primarily by stimulating the mind and keeping the body even just mildly active.

"We can address this through the combination of building design and content, technology, attitude to care and support — and our now famous chickens," said Dan.

See also:

Patient-location tracking and chickens help dementia sufferers

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