Stuart House are implementing the Butterfly approach


The North Somerset Council chose 20 Dementia Care homes in the area to implement the butterfly approach. The council are funding the project to improve Dementia care. Stuart House in Weston Super Mare is one of the chosen 20 and they began their butterfly journey in July this year.

The butterfly approach was founded by David Sheard, Director of Dementia Care Matters.

“All of us will have had moments in life when we felt bored, lethargic, aimless and lacking in energy. At some point these feelings will move on because opportunities come along in life.”- David Sheard 2007. Dementia Care Matters uses this principle through a metaphor of a butterfly enabling all staff to develop these five key principles;

  • Butterflies know themselves and work from feelings, from their spirit on the inside and not just from doing.
  • Butterflies need environments to be full of ‘things’ stuff to use with masses of rummage items around.
  • Butterflies know how to be good at both flitting creating 30 second ‘activities’ but also are good at being still.
  • Butterflies get rid of all negative and controlling care.
  • Butterflies need groups of people at similar points in their journey of a dementia to be matched together to enable a clear focus.

Therefore, the home is the resident’s home, they have control and the staff work together making the experience meaningful and not a task.

Changes have already been made to the home, enhancing what was already there. Rooms and hallways have been animated with things to look at and do, such as a jewelry hanger, hats and coat stand, a garden themed hallway with sounds of birds and nature, tea and coffee making facilities put in the lounge for the residents to make their own hot drinks and much more; all these enhancements create a positive, social environment, triggering memories and encouraging conversations to take place.

Today a big milestone has been reached; all staff have come to work without uniforms on, they will no longer wear their uniforms and tonight they will be dressed in their pajamas. This will avoid an institutional feel and show residents that it is time for bed.

We will keep you updated on the progress of Stuart House and their butterfly approach journey.