What is a Butterfly Care Home®?

The Butterfly Project was developed by Dr. David Sheard founder of Dementia Care Matters©.

The project challenges the way dementia care is approached in care homes. The project trains both staff and families on how to care for a loved one with dementia. Staff and families are encouraged to be constant and attentive companions, who are connecting, still, and able to enjoy the moments throughout the day with the residents.

The Butterfly program shows teams how to adapt the spaces within the residence so they allow residents to recreate moments and memories from their past. The space must have colour, pictures, and sensory items. The process of transforming a residence into a care home takes time and starts with getting to know the residents and their histories.

Training the staff and families along with the transformation of the residents’ space is an ongoing process that requires time, dedication and funding.

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What is Dementia?

Dementia is an overall term for a set of symptoms that are caused by disorders affecting the brain. Symptoms may include: memory loss, difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language. These symptoms may be severe enough to reduce a person’s ability to perform everyday activities. A person with dementia may also experience changes in mood or behaviour.

Dementia is progressive, which means the symptoms will gradually get worse as more brain cells become damaged.

Dementia is not a specific disease. Many diseases can cause dementia, including: Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia (due to strokes), Lewy Body disease, head trauma, fronto-temporal dementia, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Huntington’s disease. These conditions can have similar and overlapping symptoms.

~the Alzheimer’s Society of Canada