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Our Dementia Specialist Care

Our unique model is a tribute to all the Residents we have had the privilege to care for – they have been our best teachers!

We have developed our dementia model by combining over 30 years of experience with comprehensive professional training from world experts in the field of dementia, extensive research, and by selecting some of the best practices found worldwide. Our staff team is handpicked to deliver exceptional specialised dementia care to our Residents and Day Guests.

We aim to create moments of joy for every Resident each day or night. We make a difference in the well-being of our Residents by making each day count.  Our thoughtful and gentle care interventions and therapies are woven into their day to reduce anxiety and agitation. We place each Resident's unique and individual needs at the centre of our interventions and provide good old-fashioned Tender Loving Care.

Memory care activities for our residents living with dementia

Our dementia model

Dementia is chronic and progressive. It causes brain changes at every stage. We focus on what abilities remain. We get to know the person living with dementia and use a unique thoughtful approach to communicate as well as ignite familiar motor skills. At this moment we do not have the science to cure dementia but we can certainly use our experience, training and skills to make an impact on the daily lives of people living with dementia so that they become joyful, comfortable and content.

Our model:

  • assess fully all factors that affect the person
  • identify individual abilities, care needs and non-medical approach
  • apply interventions and therapies throughout the person’s day and night
  • ease anxiety and encourage well-being, create joyful moments
  • regularly assess and review

Resulting in a more secure, comfortable, content and joyful person living well with dementia.

Our Philosophy and approach

Is based on:

  • the distinguished work and training by three mentors, the late Tom Kitwood (personhood theory) and Naomi Feil (validation theory) Teepa Snow (Positive Approach to Care) and P.I.E.C.E.S. Canada Model of Change
  • our own research and experience over the past 30 years at the Devonshire and Claremont House with Residents entrusted into our care
  • searching the world to find global best practices for care management in dementia

We have developed a non-medical, bio-psychological, and functional environmental care approach. This simply means we see the person with dementia, our Resident, as being unable to process information as he or she once used to. We focus on their abilities. The Resident is not able to process or store factual information, just feelings. These feelings can be triggered and cause anxiety, frustration, agitation and unpredictable and confounding behaviours despite the carer’s best intentions.

These unpredictable and confounding behaviours are often referred to as challenging behaviours. At the Devonshire, we refer to these anomalies as responsive and confounding behaviours, as they are in response to a trigger and are only challenging and bewildering for a carer, not for the person! We do not use medication to control behaviours. To date we have cared for over 550 people living with dementia and are proud to say we have managed to successfully determine or ‘crack the code’. We are grateful to our Residents and Day Guests who have been our best teachers!

Each person’s dementia is as unique as he or she is. We have developed thoughtful interventions and techniques to promote our Residents’ well-being while decreasing their anxiety and agitation. We provide ongoing training, coaching and mentoring for our staff in order to maintain the high quality of care and commitment we demand.

Interventions and therapies for our residents living with dementia
Music and memory programme for our residents living with dementia
Arts and craft at the Devonshire Dementia Care home
Doll Therapy for resident living with dementia

Our Dementia Specialist Care includes some of the following interventions

Each person’s dementia is as unique as he or she is. We have developed thoughtful interventions and techniques to focus on retained abilities and promote our Residents’ well-being while decreasing their anxiety and agitation.

Our approach includes:

  • regular assessments regarding physical and emotional needs
  • one-on-one interpersonal therapy and TLC to promote well-being
  • personalised music and memory programme - which can be effective, as music has an emotional connection and is one of the last memories to go
  • gentle reality orientation (if and when appropriate)
  • redirection therapy
  • validation therapy
  • integrative therapies based on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and energy therapy - see one of our advisors, Colleen Robinson's biography on our staff page
  • purposeful activities to promote confidence and well-being
  • memory care activities for fun and entertainment
  • reminiscence therapy (“This Is Your Life” books) to promote confidence, well-being and a sense of self
  • massage and aromatherapy as powerful mediums to heighten the senses of smell and touch, thus stimulating a feeling of well-being
  • living in the Resident’s reality
  • daily outings
  • additional nutritional supplements such as coconut oil
  • awareness, education and support for family members

And of course, our care includes a lot of patient, Tender Loving Care as we truly want to make a difference!

purposeful activities to promote confidence and well-being

Peter likes to help out and Rusty enjoys baking - these are examples of purposeful activities.

purposeful activities to promote confidence and well-being
purposeful activities to promote confidence and well-being

Barbara is setting the table - this is an example of a purposeful activity.


People living with dementia often cannot express what he or she is feeling or experiencing in the manner they used to or that we are expecting. Things often change from one day to the next. The person living with dementia is not pretending or being purposefully difficult, they are actually doing the best that they can. Dementia has robbed them of the ability to communicate and process information in the way they used to. Our job is to decipher what they are trying to communicate through this behaviour. We have to find out what has triggered the behaviour and learn how to communicate with them. 

Responsive or confounding behaviours we continue to have success with, by our thoughtful approaches...

  • Aggression (physical and verbal) - includes spitting, pinching, kicking, scratching and biting
  • Agitation
  • Anxious behaviours
  • Calling out continually
  • Delusions, false beliefs
  • Emotional fluctuations
  • Forgetfulness
  • Hallucinations
  • Hoarding
  • Hiding possessions
  • Inappropriate sexual behaviours
  • Misperceptions
  • Not wanting to bathe, dress, eat etc
  • Paranoid behaviour
  • Repetitive actions
  • Repetitive verbalisation - this includes asking same question over and over again
  • Resistance
  • Screaming
  • Shadowing
  • Sundowning
  • Wandering or pacing
  • Wanting to ‘go home’, ‘go out’

Our residents stories...

Former Devonshire Dementia Care Home resident Ted and his sister

A thank you letter from Ted’s niece Anne

“Trying to find a suitable care home for a loved one is not easy; it can take many months of painstaking searching and until it was suggested to me that the time had come when we should be considering a residential care home for my Uncle...”

Read More

What Kim & Keith says about the devonshire dementia care home

Finding a suitable care home for your loved one is a difficult and agonising journey. We have over 30 years of experience in dementia care and would like to help. Family members have volunteered to tell their stories and have given us their permission to share them in these videos. This is what family and friends say about Devonshire Dementia Care Home.

Residents’ family and advocates Meetings

Resident Advocate Meetings with Senior Management are held four times a year. The purpose of these meetings is to discuss any issues and concerns as well as brainstorm ideas. Occasionally we bring in speakers such as medical specialists to talk about dementia, advance care planning and end of life care, and solicitors to talk about Power of Attorney for finance and health care.

Due to Covid 19 Pandemic and the requirement to social distance, to keep our Residents, Families and Staff safe, the meeting will be conducted by a Zoom call. If you would like to join the meeting please email your information and we will register you and send you a link.

2021 Residents Advocates Meeting are scheduled for:

  • March 16, 2021 (Venue: Cautiously on Zoom) 5pm 
  • June 22, 2021 (Venue: Hopefully in the garden) 2pm 
  • Sept 21, 2021 World Alzheimer’s Day (Venue: Hopefully in person in the lounge) 2pm 
  • Dec 07, 2021 (Venue: Hopefully in person) 2pm