Arthur is a lively and energetic gentleman in his 70s, who lives at the EachStep Blackburn care home for people living with dementia.

Although he was happy living at the care home, Arthur was missing the sense of purpose he got from doing DIY, gardening and jobs around his own home. His Circle discovered this through the use of person-centred thinking tools, and Arthur decided that he wanted his Circle to focus on keeping him involved with these interests and activities.

 

Connecting with others

Arthur’s Circle members are his wife Doreen, daughter Donna, his friend Kath, and facilitator Seren. None of them have a background in DIY or gardening, so they decided that the best way forward would be to connect with others who did.

They started with the Facilities Manager at the home, Paul. Before long, Arthur was helping out with maintenance jobs around EachStep, doing the regular checks of the facilities with Paul. He takes great pride in this. It really gives him a sense of purpose and makes him feel like a valued member of the community.

Alongside this, Arthur and his Circle talked about the idea of restoring used furniture. Before long Arthur had restored a number of beautiful old rocking chairs, which he then chose to donate to a local nursery. Again, this was a wonderful way of keeping him engaged in activities he enjoyed, whilst feeling like he was able to make a real contribution.

 

Making a difference to Arthur’s wellbeing

Cath, Arthur’s Community Circles Connector, said:

“We can see a definite improvement in Arthur’s well being, through being involved with the things he enjoys.  He enjoys the circle meetings and has things to keep him occupied.

The Circle meetings gives us an opportunity to share ideas and chat about what’s working and not working.  Without the Circle meeting we probably would have never thought of the idea of Arthur spending time with Paul, the facilities office, doing the household checks.  Arthur takes great pride in this and really enjoys having a valued purpose.”

Cath also worked with Arthur and his Circle to measure the effect on his wellbeing.

Before the Circle began, Arthur scored 47 on the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale (WEMWBS). After 12 months with his Circle this had increased to 53, meaning that he had moved from having below-average to above-average wellbeing; an increase of over 12%.

Community Circles have been shown to work well in care home settings. You can read more on our page about Community Circles for care and support providers.