New specialist service at the Priory Highbank Centre
The objective of Robinson House is to provide an age-appropriate setting for younger men who have enduring mental health issues and associated complex care needs.
These may include Huntington's disease, Korsakoff's syndrome, Pick's disease, vascular dementia, Lewy body dementia, Alzheimer's disease, HIV-related dementia or other neurological degenerative conditions.
Care and therapy will be provided by a multidisciplinary team. Individual care programmes based on each patient's objectives will be designed and the team will work closely with patients and their families and carers.
The 10-bedded unit will offer a wide range of facilities including social and recreational areas and activities, spacious lounges - some with sensory input and a therapy kitchen.
Emphasis will be placed on delivering care that supports the development and retention of skills for daily living activities. It is hoped that patients will progress sufficiently to either return home or transfer to a specialised care home.
Although the symptoms of dementia are similar whatever a person's age, younger people with dementia have different needs. They may:
- Be in work at the time of diagnosis
- Have dependent children still living at home
- Have financial commitments
- Be physically fit and behave in ways that other people find challenging
- Be more aware of their disease in the early stages
- Find it hard to accept and cope with losing skills at such a young age
- Find it difficult to access information, support and services for younger people with dementia
Helen Powell, Regional Manager and Hospital Director said: "We are responding to a definite requirement from commissioners for this type of dedicated service.
The patients we look after may present with behaviours that are challenging, which we have the skills and expertise to work with and manage in the best way. The therapeutic ethos is to support the individual through a range of activities that reduce the impact of challenging behaviour and the primary focus is on the social needs of the individual.
Maintaining a person's identity and sense of belonging, and seeking alternative approaches to reduce reliance on drug treatments except for other health issues such as pain or depression, are key components of our care provision.
The outcome is to alleviate the distress, frustration and fear that are often expressed as challenging behaviours, to maximise wellbeing and enhance the quality of life.
We are building on our already strong and established areas of expertise and offering an even more comprehensive range of specialist facilities for service users with specific needs."