"Kinections" Project Starts in East Ayrshire Care Homes

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A new project, aimed at improving the lives of those with dementia living in care homes in East Ayrshire and those who support them, launched on Tuesday 6 February 2018 at Ayr Campus. The project, ‘Kinections – strengthening Community in Care Homes’, is being undertaken thanks to £225,000 funding from the Life Changes Trust.

Kinections is a partnership between the My Home Life Scotland/University of the West of Scotland and East Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership. My Home Life Scotland is part of a UK-wide and international movement committed to strengthening relationships between care homes and their local communities.

This three-year project will run until November 2020 and will specifically involve people living with dementia in care homes across East Ayrshire and those who support them. Care homes in East Ayrshire already engage in the exploration of what matters to people living with dementia, and ways in which the wider community may participate in enabling people to live the best lives possible. This funding will be used to build on this work and further develop capacity to find out what community means to people with dementia and to strengthen relationships between people living in care homes and their wider communities.

As part of the project care home residents, visiting family and friends, staff and members of the wider community will be involved in developing and trying out a variety of new ideas, activities and initiatives in the care setting and in the wider community. The ideas, activities and initiatives will be created in response to what is discovered in the project about what matters and what is valued by those living in care homes and those who support them.

Councillor Jim McMahon, Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Older People and Community Safety with East Ayrshire Council, said:

“Developing a relationship with care homes in our society should be an essential part of the modern day life experience. With the funding from the Life Changes Trust, we can make life that much more enjoyable for the residents by promoting more active community involvement and interaction surrounding our care homes.”

My Home Life sets out to support managers to create and sustain a positive relationship-centred culture in their care homes where the quality of life of residents, relatives and staff can flourish. Our school in partnership with Scottish Care is currently delivering My Home Life to over 100 care homes across Scotland.

Professor Belinda Dewar OBE, Professor of Practice Improvement with the University of the West of Scotland and Director of My Home Life, Scotland, said:

“We are delighted to have launched the ‘Kinections’ project which presents an exciting opportunity to build on the existing strengths of care homes in East Ayrshire. Through their involvement in the My Home Life movement we have seen how committed those who live, work and visit care homes in East Ayrshire are to creating care homes where everyone can flourish.”

Edel Roddy, Project Lead, who is based in our school said

“The vision of My Home Life is of a world where care homes are cherished by their local communities. It is our aim that this project becomes an exemplar of the benefits of care homes, and those who live, work and visit them, being valued and supported by the local community.”