A Middlesbrough care home has been praised for combining high quality nursing practices with state-of-the-art technology by the town’s mayor Andy Preston.
The recently elected mayor paid a visit to the refurbished Parkville Care Centre, which has undergone a £500,000 facelift within its 94-bed nursing and residential facility with specialist dementia care.
A key element of the renovation was the introduction of leading technology its owners Prestige say has taken the centre “at the cutting edge of dementia care”.
Prestige has become only the second care centre in the North East to invest in a Tovertafel – an innovation dubbed “the magic table” – and a Snoezlen multi-sensory room, Dutch technology designed to reach hearts and minds sometimes assumed ‘lost’ to dementia.
Using infrared sensors to detect hand movements and stimulate movement, the Tovertafel is a care innovation that projects a series of fun interactive games onto a table to achieve social interaction, mental stimulation and physical activity in residents living with dementia.
The portable Snoezelen room – named after a Dutch word meaning to explore and relax – creates a soothing and stimulating environment using lighting effects, colour, sounds, music and aromatherapy.
After enjoying a guided tour of the centre from Prestige directors Raj Singh and Paul Smith, mayor Preston said: “People sometimes imagine care homes as quite old fashioned so it was inspiring to see breakthrough technology being combined with a warm, caring environment at Parkville.
“It’s good to see our elderly, especially those living with dementia, have such fantastic facilities on their doorstep.”
Parkville, which already boasted a beautiful garden and separate “safe garden” for residents needing time alone, has also installed a specialist bath that promotes a feeling of calmness via lights, aromatherapy oils and music.
Parkville manager Allana Massingham said: “By investing in both care and technology, we’re committed to offering the best possible wellbeing to those in our care.
“There’s no place for the traditional image of elderly people sitting around the four sides of a care home lounge staring into space.
“It’s our philosophy that there’s always something meaningful we can support our residents with to allow them to be the best they can be, even during the late stages of dementia.”
Mr Smith added: “We’ve introduced key principles of nursing centre design that’s being driven by research from Stirling University.
“We’re confident there’s nothing quite like this in the region – but we’re rolling out the formula of first-class care in combination with innovation across our Tees Valley care centres.”
The care centre staff now plan to invite local nurseries to pay a visit to Parkville to enjoy the interactive experiences with residents, with Mr Smith adding: “It’s such a fantastic piece of equipment that we want to share with the local community, as it’s equally fascinating for young and old.”