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WHATA dementia care model that helps dementia care homes to reach 'butterfly status' which is based on a person-centered standard of care for their facility. Homes are often brighly colored with residents occupying themselves with household activities and chores as a family.
WHYBased on the concept that 'Feelings Matter Most' in dementia care and that person-centered care should the base of all dementia services offered.
WHEREDementia Care Matters.
Founder – Dr. David Sheard. Brighton, United Kingdom (UK)

Program Description

“We are proud to be a 'disruptor' and to challenge paradigms of thinking so we can achieve better support for Seniors”
- Founder – Dr. David Sheard

“We all live in the moment – moments matter. For everyone with or without a dementia all we have is now. We cannot yet fix dementia as a condition. We can fix our approach. Showing people living with a dementia that we know their feelings matter most can transform lives.”

“Dementia Care Matters has developed an approach using the metaphor of a butterfly. Staff who ‘get it’, know in their heart that quality of life matters. They learn how to look, sound and feel like butterflies at work. Being natural in dementia care involves flitting between people, being still, connecting, creating color and changing moments.”

The Butterfly Model Mattering in Dementia Care Program aims to create an environment for those with dementia where they can live, work and support each other as families.

Some of the more profound differences in a butterfly dementia home include:

-Removing central dining rooms preventing the ‘herding’ of people from one room to another and creating in lounge/diners a positive engaging social occasion focused on food preparation, choices, and interaction.

-Relaxing routines freeing up staff giving them permission to be with people.

-Removing controlling care allowing staff to understand how each moment in the day is
an opportunity to turn a potentially controlling or neutral task orientated response, into one that is a real, positive, social, and a shared connection.

-Occupying those with dementia- daily ways in which residents with dementia participate in home activities, chores and daily life such as helping in the kitchen, home organization, and other tasks. A 'Butterfly Service' status dementia care home aims to engage people at all levels.

The foundation of The 'Mattering' Program for dementia care homes is based on:

  • BEING person centered - helping staff to shift their focus from only doing tasks to being able to reach people on the inside.
  • ENABLING quality of life  - seeing, hearing, feeling the lived experience of people. This also involves measuring the minute by minute experiences of people and being determined to improve the moment.
  • INSPIRING leadership - guiding people away from detached management to a new professionalism of attached leadership leading from the heart and not just by the hand.
  • NURTURING staff emotions in dementia care, recognizes the need to support peoples emotional labor, fostering positive team relationships, development of an emotion led organizational strategy.
  • GROWING - training that moves away from tick-box courses and focuses on the development of peoples emotional intelligence through reflection, modelling and coaching.
  • ACHIEVING real outcomes - measuring quality of service, and quality of life as the primary focus and policies, procedures and systems as secondary goals.
  • SUPPORTING nurses in dementia care to modernize and to restore compassionate cultures of care and relationship focused support.
  • MATTERING in a dementia care home involves – making the core skills of caring staff to Feel, Look, Connect and Occupy so that they can create a community of Share, Reach, Relax and Matter.

The Butterfly Model Mattering in Dementia Care Program demonstrates the foundations of person-centered dementia care emphasizing the following:

Feeling - why feelings matter most in dementia care and how 'to be' with people
Looking - how dementia care environments and staff need to look to bring out the best in those with dementia
Connection - what dementia language is all about and interpreting meanings

Training for Butterfly Dementia Homes includes Day Courses, University Learning, Learning Resources, Mattering at Home, Mattering in Hospital, and In House Training for care homes.

The dementia assistance DVD also covers Culture Change in dementia care homes with an emphasis on the themes of Share, Reach, Relax and Matter. In addition to the training DVD, the 'Mattering in Dementia Care' Program also publishes the 'Dementia Care Home Operational Manual,' which is a guide on how to develop dementia care homes which deliver person-centered dementia care, and how to enable dementia care culture change.
source:,Mattering in a dementia care home – The Butterfly Approach.’

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