The Belong village was designed to offer the most supportive environment possible for people experiencing dementia. All our staff have been trained to recognise and deal sensitively with the wishes of the person with dementia, from the nursing staff within each household to the catering staff in every bistro, ensuring that all residents can participate in the warmth and support of our community, however complex their needs may become.
We also offer a free Admiral Nurse service, which provides specialist dementia support and advice to residents who have been medically diagnosed with any form of dementia, as well as their family members and carers.
Belong draws on 20 years of experience in supporting people with dementia, and the physical environment of our village model and, in particular, the open-plan household design aims to maximise independence and orientation, and reduce dependence on memory. Below are the cornerstones of our approach.
Honest and fun encounters
At first the world for the person with dementia may seem chaotic and threatening and dominated by intense emotion. Our support teams are trained to recognise the potential for creativity in the person with dementia and to tap into their sense of humour. By making humour the cornerstone of our villages we embark on fulfilling, heart-warming journeys alongside our residents with dementia, valuing the time that we spend with them and their families.
Active and independent lifestyles
However they enter the Belong community, our staff recognise the importance of enabling the person with dementia to retain their interests and abilities for as long as possible. Our rehabilitative approach has successfully enabled individuals to regain skills that were thought to be lost to dementia.
Knowing what is important to the person with dementia enables us to encourage individuals to continue to engage in outdoor pursuits, care for their pets and to maintain relationships with younger members of their family and the community.
Our core dementia values
People living in our villages should feel secure and experience a sense of belonging. All of our customers must have access to human companionship and the opportunity to develop friendships. Staff, customers and their families should work together to create purpose and meaning for each day. Finally, we want everybody in the Belong village to be free to make their own decisions and choices.
The importance of life stories
We encourage all Belong village residents to develop an individual life plan, with the help of their close friends and families. The life plan records build a comprehensive portrait of the individual, recording and recognising their past, present and future to help ensure that they receive the most appropriate help and support to meet their needs.
The life plan concept signifies a move away from traditional styles of assessment and planning, which were based on a medical approach to a person’s needs. While we’ll always prioritise the physical needs of our customers, at Belong we create bespoke care solutions to cater for the needs of each individual, promoting wellbeing through increased happiness.
We think it is important to identify what makes life meaningful for our customers, with the aim of maintaining the individual’s preferred lifestyle as far as possible. With the help of families and loved ones, we can create a record for each of our customers that enables us to enrich the quality of their lives.
Download a copy of our booklet 'Our approach to dementia care'.
Download a copy of our '10 Top Tips for supporting people with dementia' leaflet.