iMind stands for 5 key words representing what we believe all people who live with dementia should be able to feel and experience as part of the care they receive – Inspired; Moments; Innovative; Normality; Dignity.
Our strapline and passion is to raise awareness in society about the need for ‘good care’. We not only want individuals but the wider society to ‘mind about dementia care’.
In the UK, there are 850,000 people with dementia and numbers are set to rise to over 1 million by 2025. The human cost of dementia for those who have it and those who care for them is immense. It is estimated the overall economic impact of dementia in the UK is £26.3 billion.
We are fortunate to be experiencing a more open and publicised approach to dementia, which has been brought into the public arena through the media and tremendous work of organisations such as the Alzheimer’s Society and Dementia Friends Initiative. The stigma of this degenerative disease is being broken down. Professionals and families alike are now able to openly access both early diagnosis and symptom control. Despite these major advances, there is still no cure.
A vast majority of the care for those with dementia is undertaken and provided by family members. As the disease progresses, it becomes harder for families to care for their loved ones. Their desperate attempts to avoid institutional care means they are often at crisis point before they seek help.
In the UK there are approximately 17,500 care homes, providing long-term care and support to 487,000 older people, and as many as 80 per cent of residents may have dementia.
Care homes have become society’s answer to the provision of long-term care for older people who can no longer be supported at home. Laing & Buisson in their Care of the elderly UK survey report 2012/2013 noted that, despite policy favouring non-residential alternatives, there has been a recent resurgence in demand for care home packages.
The options are limited with many areas suffering a distinct lack of specialist care homes. Families are forced to make critical decisions often ill prepared and in a market place which offers a limited choice with little or no alternative options. Faced with this scenario the inevitable happens – choice is often determined by price and availability.
At iMind we want to offer an alternative approach, to break the mould and push the boundaries to develop an environment in which individuals living with dementia, particularly those in the latter stages of the disease process, can be assured of not only specialist care but care which is delivered in an inspirational way. It is about an experience not only for the patient but for the family too.
The reality of restriction and risk adversity frequently form the landscape and culture within which people living with dementia are submersed.
At iMind our vision and project turns the traditional approach on its head. Our concept challenges the conventional. We are looking to develop a facility where people are free to move, experience and feel their environment – people will live in the environment to which they are accustomed. Each person will be treated as an individual and the care will be personalised to their needs. We seek to offer an alternative choice to compliment services already in existence.
Whilst the project will bring a new and innovative approach to care in the UK, it has already been proven to work in other countries. At iMind we wish to enhance and elevate the facility to combine a number of proven methods and then share this example as a template for further developments. iMind has secured the first licence to work with and replicate the vison of the Hogeweyk model in the Netherlands. As part of our project we will be incorporating an eco and sustainable ethos which will form an essential component of the building itself.
The opportunities are endless. The project is driven by a team who have the ambition, passion and ability to make this a reality and to change the face of ‘care’ for people who live with dementia.
As a Cornish girl growing up in a farming community, Anne Reed, Managing Director, wants Cornwall to be the first to benefit from this world class facility. With over 21% of the Cornish population over 65 there is need to establish this innovative care environment in the locality but the flagship facility will be open to residents all over the UK.
Our dream is enormous but our passion is greater. Our vision is one of creating a sustainable enterprise that will help but also inspire others to adopt change.