Guild Care explains benefits of the Butterfly approach to dementia care

Guild Care’s Haviland House dementia care home in Worthing is one of only 50 accredited Butterfly homes in the UK.

Alzheimer’s Association defines dementia as ‘a general term for loss of memory, language, problem-solving and other thinking abilities that are severe enough to interfere with daily life’.

The symptoms of dementia commonly require people living with the condition to be cared for – often by a loved one. As the condition develops, the full-time care offered by dementia-specific nursing homes can become an option, or indeed a necessity.

Haviland House, one of Guild Care’s three care homes, was purpose built six years ago to fulfil the needs of those living with different stages of dementia. I am proud to say that the home is rated Good overall by the Care Quality Commission and Outstanding for its responsiveness.

At Haviland House, Guild Care has created environments in which residents are happy, independent and confident

The home’s key focus is providing a truly person-centred approach to its residents, who are known affectionately by staff as ‘family members’. It is important that Haviland House feels like a real home, so we have created environments in which our residents are happy, independent, and confident.

Asked what makes Haviland House so special, Eileen Garbutt, the home’s wellbeing co-rdinator, said: “Haviland is special because our teams are patient and kind and the building itself is spacious and bright – and it continues to evolve with the changing climate of dementia needs. We give our family members time to settle, get to know them personally and learn to approach them in a way I’ve not seen in many other homes.”

As part of its person-centred approach, Haviland House adopted the Butterfly Model in 2019, becoming one of only 50 Butterfly accredited care homes in the UK. Launched by Dementia Care Matters, the Butterfly movement positions itself against the impersonal and unstimulating environments found at many care homes’ dementia units.

Specifically, Dementia Care Matters advocates that care homes for those living with dementia should be split into several households; carers should be trained to express empathy and spend time with people, rather than rushing from one task to the next; and physical environments should be designed with the goal of creating an uplifting and homely for residents.

Alex Brooks-Johnson, chief executive of Guild Care

Asked what the positives of the Butterfly Model are, Eileen said: “For me, the positives are that it is recognised that other than a person’s clinical and medicinal needs, they are also a valuable person away from needing general care – they are a person that needs stimulation, occupation, an esteem boost or a sensory approach – and the Butterfly Model permits that.

“I attempt to recognise the holistic and emotional needs of our family members and I attempt to support them where their own memory fails them – in Haviland we consistently engage them in activity that appears to be enjoyable and non-challenging for them.

“We create social and domestic environments and encourage safe occupation to suit a family members mood and/or needs at that present time. We attempt to reach into the psychological and cognitive needs ‘at the time’ and place ourselves in their reality so they feel dignified and comfort and ease in knowing – and feeling – that what they are doing is right.”

If you would like to find out more about Haviland House, our website has a wealth of information, including an online virtual tour. Alternatively, our friendly customer service team are always happy to answer any queries – you can call them on 01903 327327.