20 people with moderate to severe dementia have now received care at Ardenlea Grove Nursing Home since the new step-down facility was established in October. The average length of stay at Ardenlea Grove is three weeks and the majority of people have returned home at the end of their stay.
The eight bed facility supports frail, elderly people away from a hospital setting. Patients who transfer to the nursing home from Solihull Hospital are supported to take control of their own care as far as possible, improving their level of independence and well-being in readiness for discharge home or to another appropriate place of care. Further support is provided by Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust (HEFT) Community Services, specialist services from Birmingham & Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (BSMHFT) and a consultant geriatrician and consultant psychiatrist.
Dr Raafat Mishriky, lead old age psychiatrist at BSMHFT, explains: “We now have the opportunity to diagnose dementia early in the ‘discharge to assess’ ward before the patient moves back to their own home which reduces the need for them to be referred to the memory assessment service. Equally important is starting treatment early and giving support to family members.
“The most rewarding aspect of this work is early intervention in challenging behaviour in dementia patients which reduces the risk of a crisis in the community developing. It is very satisfying to provide care jointly with GPs and physicians in the same ward allowing a comprehensive recovery approach for the patient.”