Dementia Care

In the UK approximately 900,000 people are living with a dementia diagnosis. At Barchester we support those living with dementia to live a fulfilling, happy and active life.

We are committed to supporting families by providing the best possible care for their loved ones – through understanding the different dementia types we provide 24-hour support, delivering the highest quality of specialist care with dignity and respect. 

We understand choosing the right care home can be one of life’s biggest decisions, and are here to help you.

Two smiling ladies

What is dementia care? 

Individuals living with dementia may require extra, or specialised care and support, especially as their symptoms develop over time. People with dementia are likely to experience memory loss and find it difficult making sense of their physical surroundings. We know these symptoms can cause distress and result in difficulty locating specific areas or specific rooms, which is why our care home environments are designed to navigate around more easily and reduce distress.

Dementia care accommodates for these specific needs when nursing or residential care is not enough, with a focus on improving well-being and assisting people to continue living a fulfilled life with activities they love.

At Barchester, we have specialised resources and teams that are trained to support those living with dementia. These include a dedicated Dementia Care Specialist Team who are published experts in the field, and a Quality Improvement Team who assess the quality of our care to ensure it is up to date with the latest techniques.

Types of dementia

Dementia is a collective term for various symptoms of diseases that affect the brain in different ways, the most common types include:

Alzheimer’s Disease

A progressive condition that affects brain function – a build up of proteins damage nerve cells and brain tissue. Symptoms tend to worsen over time and include:

  • memory loss
  • disorientation
  • personality changes
  • low moods
  • increased anxiety


Vascular dementia

Caused by reduced blood flow to the brain, this type of dementia can start suddenly or progress slowly over time. People with vascular dementia often experience:

  • difficulties with concentration
  • understanding and planning
  • mobility and balance
  • loss of memory
  • changes in mood or behaviour

Lewy body dementia

Lewy bodies are abnormal deposits of protein that affect the chemicals in the brain’s nerve cells. Symptoms include:

  • changes in mood and behaviour
  • problems with thought processes
  • mobility and balance
  • sleep issues

Frontotemporal dementia

This type of dementia is a result of damaged neurons in the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. Dementia symptoms include:

  • unusual behaviours
  • emotional problems
  • communication problems
  • mobility issues
  • memory loss

Early signs of dementia

Small changes in behavior and language, or a lack of decision making skills quite often go unnoticed at first, as we all forget words or have trouble finding things from time-to-time. Symptoms can vary significantly, but people with early signs may experience:

  • Forgetfulness and a struggle to recall things
  • Inability to make decisions or complete simple tasks
  • Slow movement and loss of balance
  • Striking personality changes and mood swings

Dementia symptoms & diagnosis

If you are concerned about signs of dementia in yourself or a loved one, the first step is to talk to a healthcare professional. You might feel afraid to ask for help, but it is important to speak openly about any concerns to ensure the best support if provided by the right experts.

There are other causes of memory problems that aren’t necessarily dementia, so it’s important to seek help and advice early to gain a better understanding.

A lady with a toy

Why is dementia care so important?

Specialist dementia care is vital to retaining the greatest quality of life, ensuring the relevant levels of engagement are available – something our Memory Lane Communities help with in our care homes.

It’s also worth noting that caring for someone with dementia can be a struggle, especially as the condition develops over time. Dementia care in a specialist setting such as one of our homes, not only helps to give your loved one the best support, but it will provide you with peace of mind.

Barchester’s specialist dementia care not only ensures that a person is looked after and safe, but makes a positive difference to their quality of life and overall well-being. As dementia progresses, the need for specialist care increases, as well as the support given to non-professional caregivers and affected family members.

Planning for dementia care

Following a dementia diagnosis, you might find it quite difficult to know what to do next. When you feel ready it is important to plan for the future. Every circumstance is unique and there will be different considerations based on the care required, as well as what happens as the dementia progresses.

When the time is right, our specialist teams can help on your journey to planning the future care needs of your loved one. At Barchester, all of our care homes take each individuals circumstances into account and produce a care plan based on their needs.

Your local authority will be able to offer an assessment to help you plan ahead, and a Lasting Power of Attorney can be requested to make health and well-being decisions on your behalf if required. You may also choose to look around local care homes to see how they can care for you or a loved one in the future.

Two ladies in a cafeteria

Benefits of care homes for dementia care

We know extra support is often required to help maintain psychological, sociological and physical well-being and we are here to help with our team of experts who are highly trained to ensure those living with dementia stay safe and happy.

Specialist environments
Latest technology to enhance well-being
Improved dining experience
Meaningful one-to-one and group activities
Dementia training for all staff
Tailored, individual care

Our care homes are designed to support all residents to live a fulfilled life. Living with dementia can result in difficulty locating specific areas or specific rooms which is why we have designed our environments to include memory prompts and way-finding techniques to help navigate around the home more easily.

We’re always looking at ways to improve residents’ quality of life, which is why our care homes use specialist technology and tools that are important for adapting to life with dementia. Promoting positive dining experiences through cutlery adaptations and catering for small appetites help to reduce distress at mealtimes, and activities from our interactive Magic Tables support residents through sensory stimulation, relaxation and reminiscence.

Watch this short video to discover what Barchester care homes have to offer

Why choose dementia care at Barchester

We pride ourselves on our tailored approach to care and find tools like our ‘Getting to know me’ booklets and portable memory boxes are an important part of understanding a person’s history and what matters most to them.

Many of our dementia care offerings are unique to Barchester homes, including our Memory Lane Communities, which provide a comforting and stimulating experience for your loved one.

All Barchester staff receive dementia training and every home includes a Dementia Champion to support with cognitive impairments. Our Dementia Care Specialist Team, many of whom are published experts, work in conjunction with Worcester University, so you can be assured that we are implementing the very latest in dementia care research and practices across all of our homes.

Three ladies drinking teas

Barchester care homes for dementia

Choosing a care home can be one of life’s biggest decisions. The combination of our highly trained teams, and approach to dementia care and support is developed through the latest research and years of expertise.

We know a safe environment is important when caring for dementia, and our homes’ Memory Lane Communities are designed especially for that – supporting independence through wayfinding, and reducing distress with visual prompts and relaxing environments.

Contact your local Barchester care home to find out how they can help you.

Find a dementia care home near you


What our resident's families are saying about Barchester’s dementia care services

"My grandma recently moved into Memory Lane having been cared for at home 24/7 by her family,  she settled really quickly and enjoys sitting in the large windows to look out at the trees, birds, train line and garden. There is a great choice of food and she enjoys the dining room experience. In her time at the home she has bounced back from serious illness and this is in part due to their diligence and communication with us and the doctor."

Granddaughter of resident

What our resident's families are saying about Barchester’s dementia care services

"It is so nice to have peace of mind knowing he is being loved and cared for in this safe and pleasant environment. The staff have guided us with the knowledge of dementia which has helped us to acknowledge the right way to be when we visit our dad. There is nothing but kindness all around. It's great all the activities that they encourage the residents to take part in and trips out. Our dad loves it."

Daughter of resident

What our resident's families are saying about Barchester’s dementia care services

"We as a family were very reluctant to put him into a care home but as he had vascular dementia there really was no alternative. He settled into the home very quickly and really liked the staff and the residents. He would often tell me how lovely the place was and how lovely the people there were. He really enjoyed the food and the activities he took part in."

Daughter of resident

Two smiling people

Facilities at Barchester dementia care homes

Our Memory Lane Communities have been offering pioneering dementia care to families since 1992. Today, we continue to evolve our approach, whilst embracing the very latest technology and techniques to ensure your loved one can live a life that feels comfortable, enriching and connected. These communities reflect Barchester’s model of care based on hospitality, comfortable surroundings and high-quality care but are designed to bring out the strengths of people living with dementia, to be welcoming to relatives and to local communities, and to ensure that staff give their best in a supportive environment.

Memory Lane Communities

Meet Barchester’s dementia care specialists

Our team of dementia care specialists ensure that our dementia care programme is second to none and that all staff in our homes are trained in specialist dementia care, regardless of the services provided by the home they work in.

Julia Atherton

Director of Nursing and Dementia

I have worked within the care industry for over 25 years; I started out as a carer looking after people with learning difficulties and sensory impairments. Now my focus is on the delivery of high-quality care and support to all residents in Barchester's care homes and hospitals.

Claire Peart

Claire Peart

Dementia Care Specialist

I qualified as a nurse over 20 years ago and have worked in various roles within the private sector including a role as Head of a Complex Dementia Unit in North East England. I now work within a team as a Dementia Care Specialist for Barchester.

Dementia help & advice

From making your current home dementia friendly, to the transition into a care home — we know that there are many challenges when it comes to caring for a loved one who has dementia. You can find a range of helpful resources that we have compiled in collaboration with our dementia care experts over on our Dementia Carers Support Guide and at Barchester, we’re always happy to discuss next steps when you feel it’s time to move to a care home.

Dementia help and advice

We understand that it can be hard to know where to turn when you have a dementia diagnosis or are caring for someone living with dementia. That’s why our care homes support their local communities and dementia charities by hosting regular support groups or events, like Dementia Cafés, that are free to attend. These groups offer help and advice, and allow families to share their experiences in a relaxed setting.

Find your local Barchester care home

Dementia care FAQs

What are dementia symptoms?

Symptoms can progress and worsen over time, and dementia affects people in different ways. Early indicators include:

  • Memory loss
  • New difficulties with familiar daily tasks
  • Confusion and disorientation
  • Personality and mood changes

When should someone with dementia move into a care home?

Someone with dementia should move into a care home when the tasks of daily living become too much, and they are no longer able to live independently and safely at home with support from a relative, friend or paid carer.

Do Barchester homes care for different dementia types?

Our care teams receive specialist training to understand the many different types of dementia and how some of the symptoms of these may present themselves for each person.