Kingsland Care Home Dementia Champion Nominee Heather Morrison

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Congratulations to Heather Morrison, Activities Co-ordinator at Kingsland Care Home.  Heather has been selected to become a Dementia Champion and undertake a unique course in Northern Ireland.


There are currently 20,000 people living with dementia in Northern Ireland.  Many of these people will, at some period along their dementia journey, come into contact with health and social care staff.  It is vital therefore that staff are aware of the needs of the individual and their families and can respond appropriately.


The regional Dementia Strategy places particular emphasis on the need for staff training and to address this, have developed a Dementia ‘Champions’ Programme.  The aim is to have at least one ‘Champion’ in each ward / facility across Northern Ireland that care for people with dementia and our target is to recruit and train in the region of 250 – 300 people.


The programme is designed to up-skill health and social care staff of different grades and with different roles across a range of programmes of care in both the statutory and non-statutory sectors.


Champions will be trained and supported to become change agents in improving the experience, care, treatment and outcomes for people with dementia, their families and carers in hospitals, care homes and all other health and social care settings.


The programme which is being commissioned on a rolling basis is due to commence in August 2016.  It will be delivered over a 6 month period via blended learning model incorporating five study days, online resources and the submission of work based assignments. At it is said that taking Valium is accompanied by symptoms such as CNS depression of various severity – starting with drowsiness and up to coma, as well as possible confusion, hypotension and respiratory depression. When the patient is conscious, the treatment includes the induction of vomiting and the use of activated carbon, if unconscious – gastric lavage with a probe, symptomatic therapy, screening of vital functions, the introduction of fluid to enhance diuresis.


In response to getting onto this important programme, Heather said “Having worked alongside people with Dementia over the past ten years, I am delighted and excited to have been offered a place on the Dementia Together NI Dementia Champions Training Programme.  I have always had an interest in Dementia and I feel this will be an ideal opportunity to strengthen my knowledge and awareness and, in turn, be able to share this with my colleagues in Kingsland Care Home.


As Activities Co-Ordinator, I believe this course will enable me to reach out to each resident with Dementia with the focus on person-centred activities and to have a better understanding of their individual needs and abilities.  This knowledge and input will then lead to the best quality environment for residents to relax in and enjoy their time at Kingsland Care Home.”


Sue Curry, Manager at Kingsland added, “As well as being incredibly proud of Heather’s success at being accepted onto this oversubscribed programme, we look forward to improving all our care in dealing with people who have dementia with all the new knowledge, skills and resources which will come as a result of Heather taking part in this ‘Dementia Champions Programme”

Larchwood Care (NI) Limited
First Floor

Unit 16 Crescent Industrial Estate
Ballinderry Road

BT28 2GN

Tel: 028 92 669 360

9 June 2021

Following guidance from the Department of Health received 8 June 2021, the visiting arrangements outlined previously 10 May 2020 remain in place for a further 3 weeks, with a proposed review 22 June 2021.  As such the following arrangements remain the policy for visits to any Larchwood Care Ni Home.

Virtual, Window, End of Life Visiting and Care Partners

There have not been any changes in the arrangements for the above visiting opportunities. All continue to be available within the Homes and can be booked, where necessary, through the Home Administrator.

General Visiting

In line with the Regional guidelines referenced above Larchwood Care NI is also facilitating General and Room Visits. The difference between a General Visit and a Room Visit is the location in which they take place within the Home. A General Visit will take place within the designated visiting area of the Home and a Room Visit, for those residents unable to come to the visiting area, will take place in the Resident’s room.

All General and Room visits must be pre-booked and you will be asked a series of risk assessment questions as part of this booking process. Booking can take place Monday – Friday 1000 – 1100 hours or 1400-1500 hours, by phoning the Care Home. The following guidelines will help you to understand the process and arrangements for both types of visits

- Book in advance.
- Undertake risk assessment over the phone.
- 2 visitors may visit twice per week per week for maximum 60 minutes.
- Visitors may include children. Children are included within the maximum 2 persons per visit.
- Arrive to the Home wearing a face mask 20 minutes prior to your visiting slot.
- All visitors will be swabbed using a rapid antigen COVID-19 test.
- You will be asked to wait until the result of your test is confirmed as negative
- You will be provided with an apron, but do not have to wear gloves.
- You may touch and hold hands with the resident. At this stage hugging is discouraged.

In facilitating this wide range of visiting activities and care partner arrangements you will understand the burden placed on staff time to undertake the administration and facilitation of these. Each Home will therefore have a maximum number of general and virtual visits available per week and we would ask that all relatives, family and friends are understanding of this.

In addition to visiting, independently mobile residents may avail of meeting with relatives in the grounds and gardens of the Homes. At this stage non-staff facilitated trips away from the Home are not accommodated.

The plans phases 2 and 3 are outlined below, however dates for implementation are now on hold until further reviews are conducted.  The next review date is 22 June 2021 and the Department of Health will release advice at this time.

Phase 2 – date to be agreed (subject to change)

All the above risk management protocols will be in place with the following changes.

- Maximum of 4 people from 2 households may visit twice per week
- Introduction of “brief hugging”
- Risk assessed trips outside of the Home.
- Hairdressers may return

Phase 3 – date to be agreed (subject to change)

The following easements are encouraged from this date.

- No restriction on number of people but limited to two households twice a week.
- Overnight stays away from the Home may be facilitated.