Binley care home first in Coventry with ‘Butterfly’ care model accreditation

published on 15 May 2019

Youell Court

- residents enjoy special memories created by ‘butterfly’ moments -

A Salvation Army residential care home in Binley has been awarded accreditation in the ‘Butterfly’ household model of care; a new way of caring for people living with dementia. This is the first care home in Coventry to gain the specialist dementia care accreditation.

Youell Court care home has trained staff in partnership with Dementia Care Matters about how to create special ‘Butterfly’ moments that build emotional connections between staff and residents.

To create a ‘Butterfly’ moment, care home staff focus on creating special memories that shift an individual into a joyful or relaxed state, enhancing mood and well-being. Under the Butterfly model of care, the care home has shifted practices away from traditional task-focused care and routines to an approach that considers residents’ emotions first and foremost, involving them in activities that give a sense of purpose. The focus also switches from dependence to enablement for the individual.

Care home manager, Emma Bailie said: “By adopting the Butterfly model of care, we have seen more joyful residents and staff who have had the freedom to interact with each other and be ‘in the moment’, to enjoy time together. 

“An example of creating a special Butterfly moment is through joining together in song. We have a few smart speakers around the care home and, if we are assisting someone to move and they are finding it difficult, we ask them what song they would like to hear and ask our Alexa to play it. The music creates a lovely distraction, taking away any pressure of movement, replacing it with a more joyful experience, while the resident is still assisted to move to another position.”

Among a number of changes seen at The Salvation Army’s care home, Youell Court has abolished uniforms, created cosy home environments, and implemented a more relaxed schedule of activities and events, with staff training being the biggest investment of time.

One of the principles of the Butterfly model is to embrace residents’ past if they struggle with recent memory. Care home handyman, Nigel, often chats to residents as he works, finding out some amazing things about them from their life in the Second World War or their working life experiences, remembering who they were and what they did. Talking about past events gives residents a sense of purpose. Cleaning staff also engage with residents, as they vacuum rooms.

Eamon Kelly, whose mother, Margaret, has lived at The Salvation Army’s Youell Court for several years has seen a difference since the home started training staff in the Butterfly model of care. He said: “The Butterfly principles of care together with The Salvation Army have a very clear statement of values that they work to, providing the best possible experience for residents, carers and staff. I feel my mum is being cared for in the best possible way. She is in better health than she was 12 to 18 months ago. They all look after my mum so well.”

Other Butterfly moments have been the creation of special memories around themed days and events, such as Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day.  Residents join together for celebration lunches and are given surprises such as Valentine’s Day cards, provided by members of the public. This year, The Salvation Army partnered with Red Letter Days and each resident was given a card, sent by a child or adult, to send love and encouragement. Members of staff read out the messages to make them feel special, loved and appreciated in the moment.

Shantelle, a care assistant at the home said: “We often sing, ‘It’s a long way to Tipperary’ with a lady called Vera, if we are walking and singing, Vera can suddenly break into a little run with a lift to her leg as a finale to end the song. I love what I do. You want to look after residents the same way as you would do for your own parents. They make you smile and are special”.

Kim, who works alongside Shantelle, says: “It’s lovely being part of their world”.

The care home is decorated in vibrant colours, with familiar settings such as a post office and a traditionally old-fashioned small shop. The care home hairdresser gives residents pamper time; Alice (102 years old), uses the hairdressers managed by Joanna, a local hairdresser from Nuneaton, who comes to the care home to set hair and perm, providing special Butterfly moments that enhance well-being.

Joanna said: “Alice once told me she met Frank Sinatra on a cruise, she loves listening to him. Everyone at the care home is patient and caring, understanding the needs of every resident. There is a sense of happiness at the care home. For women especially, their hair is their crowning glory. They used to go to work in their rollers and then let their hair down in the evening for the dances”.

Director of Older People’s Services at The Salvation Army, Elaine Cobb said: “I am delighted that Youell Court was successful in gaining accreditation into the Dementia Care Matters Butterfly household model of care. Staff and managers were determined to make the project work, undertaking a completely new way of caring for our residents and I’m grateful to them for all their hard work. Essentially, we are moving away from providing task-based care, to building emotional connections in as many moments as possible, we actively involve residents in small tasks to enable them to feel they make a contribution.

“We are holding an open day event on Thursday 2nd May 10.00am - 4.00pm. This is a chance to meet our staff and see the care home. We are happy to meet people interested in the home for relatives and to discuss more about what we do in caring for those living with dementia”.

Please book to attend the event and register your interest by contacting Youell Court.