What is Holistic Care for the elderly?

We often hear the phrase “Holistic care”, what is Holistic care and how do we incorporate Holistic care into our Nursing home  Holistic Care can be defined as “ Dealing with or treating the whole of something or someone and not just a part”

There are many ways to incorporate holistic care into the day to day routine of providing care.

A choice of fresh and healthy food for our Residents, At Beechtree our ethos around food has always been to provide a wide choice of interesting and healthy food, with an emphasis on freshness and taste.

Facilitating light exercises daily into the lives of the elderly – At Beechtree we have Siel Blue ( work with our residents to bring exercise that is beneficial to their needs. Exercise helps build up muscle and strength.

Light/Outside Therapy – We are fortunate in Ireland not to have extreme weather conditions, a mild climate offers all year round access to the outside. The freedom to walk outside into nature is good for the soul. At Beechtree we have a large courtyard where residents can walk or sit in the open air surrounded by the beautiful countryside of north County Dublin.

Pet Therapy – So many of our residents no longer have their own pets and the importance of having regular interactions with animals has huge benefits of well being. At Beechtree we have regular visits from a local open farm, which brings in small animals for the residents to interact with. Families are also actively encouraged to bring in their pets when they visit.

Massage & reflexology – Referring to the previous blog on the importance of touch, this is a huge part of the holistic approach we strive towards for our residents. We have a wonderful reflexology therapist who visits weekly and has built up a strong relationship with both our dependent and independent residents. We also have Sonas therapy incorporated into our activities programme for our residents with Dementia.

Medication – Our nurses, pharmacist and G/P have routine reviews of medications  try and eliminate the need where  possible

Music-therapy interventions can be more accessible and even “self-managed” by the residents’ relatives. They can reinforce social cohesion, family ties and patients’ self-esteem and thus produce a better quality of life. . At Beechtree we have lots of Music therapy through traditional bands coming in to sing for our Residents; Schools and local choirs visiting at seasonal times and spontaneous sing-songs amongst the residents.  A recent visit from Montessori children who sang Christmas Carols for the Residents in Beechtree was so therapeutic, the Residents really engaged with the children

Outings – It is so important for our residents to have a sense of freedom and fun. Choosing places of interest to visit is always our priority. We have been to many places this year, The Leprechaun museum, The  Wild Lights at Dublin Zoo and Croke Park just to name a few. We are delighted to have given our mini bus a makeover this year, we hope you like it! (Check out our Gallery)

Keeping traditions alive – A sense of well being from partaking in regular activities including baking, knitting, gardening, birthday celebrations, family meals, card games bingo, crafts and lots more. Our residents love our baking days and Janice our catering manager has a long standing tradition of baking Christmas puddings and other seasonal delights.

Spiritual Support – We welcome residents from all spiritual backgrounds. We have local clergy visit us and say mass and prayers weekly. We also have the legion of Mary visit regularly.

An all-inclusive and Holistic approach to care is what Beechtree strive towards for all our residents