At Springfield, we provide excellent quality personal care, promoting privacy, dignity and self respect, but we do more than offer the practical assistance that may be needed by our elders; we provide a service that values the individual, regardless of age, physical or cognitive ability.  We celebrate the people who choose to live in our community, by enabling them to be themselves, to show their character and personality, to be able to express their emotions and have feelings validated, without judgement.

Here at Springfield we see the person first, how they have been shaped throughout their life, their family involvement, their professional and home life that has added to the colour of their personality, and we see what they are able to achieve first before we look at the other areas they may need assistance with.

Each of our elders are unique, no two life stories are the same and as a result, no two people with Dementia are the same, as the characteristics and behaviours of a person experiencing dementia are affected by the lifestyle, relationships, character and long term memories of the person at the centre of the illness.

Our care isn’t necessarily care “on show”, on any day in our community, there may be people who express themselves in a way that is important to them, and our staff team are trained to decipher the messages that we receive, and try to understand what the person is telling us.  Communal living is not an exact science, it is an experience that can bring joy, companionship, stimulation, and social acceptance among a group of people who are experiencing similar emotions, but it can also bring fear, anger, frustration and sadness, and we at Springfield accept that all those emotions are important and need to be expressed and addressed.  People experiencing Dementia may exhibit behaviours that challenge us, but that is because we need to spend time unlocking the cloudy  and mixed up world they inhabit and assuring them that they are safe, loved and will always be a valued member of our community.

Our staff accept our elders as part of the family, and offer patience, understanding, time, humour, and the ability to accept any presentation of emotions, in order to validate the feelings of all residents.

We celebrate achievements by our residents and their abilities to retain life skills, for example we have a resident for whom going and getting bread and milk was very important, so on the days where not being able to access the shops caused her frustration and distress, we enabled her to go to the high street and bring back the bread and milk, it turned out she also wanted a lottery ticket! Although to date we are not millionaires!!!

We have residents who will happily wash up and wipe tables, this allows them to feel useful, occupied and gives them a sense of well being.  We encourage residents to engage or watch as staff engage in all aspects of house maintenance, which especially for some of our female elders, gives them a sense of purpose.

We have a gentleman who managed with significant success to prime and fire a water fire extinguisher, which shows process, logic and physical ability and was an excellent achievement for a gentleman who cannot identify days of the week, or sequence his dressing requirements!

We accept that some people experiencing Dementia may exhibit behaviour that may not be socially acceptable, but we accept that this may happen and we do not judge or scold.

Springfield is a home built on love.  We accept and reciprocate hugs, hand holding and close physical contact, to build relationships and offer reassurance.  Our elders are allowed to express themselves in whichever way they are able.  We encourage music and singing, laughter, and dancing and we spend time building bonds of trust and friendship with our staff and residents.

Our staff do not wear uniforms, as we have found this can create a more controlling ethos of care, with elders believing they are in hospital and the uniformed staff are “nurses”.  We choose to allow residents and staff to interact without the traditional barriers of a them and us society.

We encourage our elders to continue to do things that are important to them, going out for walks, maintaining hobbies, such as gardening or cooking, spending time with family and family being comfortable within our community.  There is always a warm welcome for visitors in our community and we actively encourage family and friends to participate in our many events.