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Local care home opens new dementia residential suite to offer dedicated care

Cairnmartin Court Care Home in Belfast has just opened a new residential suite to meet the needs for 31 people with dementia.

The new residential suite, Springhill Care Service, will support residents by helping them to maintain their independence and pursue the interests they enjoy.

The building was previously used to support elderly residents with nursing needs but due to the changing needs of local people living with dementia, the decision was taken to create a specialist suite dedicated to dementia care. Cairnmartin Court now solely specialises in supporting people with a diagnosis of dementia.

Cairnmartin Court is currently undertaking a project in conjunction with two local primary schools, Black Mountain and Forth River Primary School, which sees two groups of children from P1-P7 regularly visit Cairnmartin Court to enjoy arts and crafts sessions with the residents. The idea is based on the TV programme ‘Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds’, where young children spend valuable time with the older people. The experience helps improve the health, wellbeing and happiness of the older people.

Fiona Archer, Home Manager at Cairnmartin Court, says: “We are thrilled by the great start the primary school project has got off to and we’re confident it will continue to grow as more people affected with dementia come to live with us in our new residential suite. Just as was shown in the hugely popular Channel 4 programme, everyone involved from the age of 5 to 95 really benefits from this programme and both of the schools we work with have praised how successful the initiative has been, with pupils loving their visits to the home and interacting with residents. We have seen the happiness levels of our residents soar and the teachers have reported the same amongst their pupils.”

Cairnmartin Court Care Home has a lovely garden for residents and their families to enjoy. It also has a café, hairdressing services, social and communal areas. In addition, residents are encouraged to take part in activities within the community.

The new suite has enabled existing staff members to be promoted internally and receive training to increase their skill-set. It has also created 20-25 vacancies open to external candidates in the local community.

Cairnmartin Court is managed by Priory Adult Care, a division within the renowned Priory Group, the mental healthcare specialists.

Fiona Archer adds: “We’re delighted to have become a dedicated dementia home and to be able to ensure that our residents and their families are supported and cared for throughout their ever-changing dementia needs. We put our residents at the centre of everything we do and pride ourselves on offering the highest standards of person-centred care within a safe, supportive and homely environment.”

Sharon Butler, Regional Director for Priory Adult Care Northern Ireland, said: “The new dedicated dementia residential suite is a fantastic addition to Cairnmartin Court Care Home and will allow the needs of residents to be catered for at all stages.

“Our team is also committed to introducing new initiatives to encourage the residents to engage with the local community and one another, which is a crucial part of positive, dementia care.”