The Butterfly Household ® Approach 

We want to help you achieve real outcomes in dementia care.

Dementia Care Matters is keen to work in partnership with organisations on strategic projects which bring all elements of our Model of Care together into an holistic approach. The aim of the partnership is to develop your care service into a Dementia Care Matters ‘Butterfly Household ®’ and take advantage of the benefits that previous and current projects report. To include:

  • Increased well-being.
  • Evidence of quality of life outcomes for regulators.
  • Reduced staff turnover, sickness & absenteeism.
  • Decreased falls & safeguarding alerts.
  • Achieving people's weight gain.
  • Business advantage through reputation.

 "The impact of the Butterfly Project on the people that live and work here has been moving and positive. Staff are now empowered to BE with people in a loving and meaningful way with a confidence that has increased hugely as the staff continually grow."  - Project Home Manager

We believe this approach is the starting point for any care service wanting to adopt culture change and improve its model of care.

This approach highlights that an emphasis alone on the quality of a service without placing quality of life centre stage is meaningless. The real benefits of this approach are that it teaches care teams a simple methodology. QUIS is easily understandable to all groups of staff. It helps them to understand the difference between positive social interactions, positive personal care, neutral care, controlling care and restrictive abusive care – this is the beginning of proving that people really matter.” - Dr David Sheard, Founder, Dementia Care Matters

Our Butterfly Household Model of Care Action Checklist (revised version 2) is a key tool for developing care homes - DOWNLOAD

A Butterfly Project would span twelve months. A Project provides the opportunity to implement a holistic approach to improving the culture of care. A Project provides a focus on improving the lived experience for people living with a dementia through a mix of the methods described here.

Projects begin with an audit carried out by one or two Dementia Care Matters Consultants to evaluate the lived experience of people with a dementia in the care setting. A comprehensive report and action plan will be provided from the findings of the audit.

The action plan will then provide the basis for an agreement between the two organisations regarding the most appropriate mix of consultancy support, direct coaching and training. This will be scoped by our Consultant Trainers working directly with the Manager to achieve a realistic outcome.

The Butterfly Project will provide a comprehensive approach to ensuring the Model of Care is finally embedded and sustained, usually requiring a twelve month project. However it is recognised that for smaller care services with limited resources, this may not be possible and Dementia Care Matters would help to seed the new Model leaving key people in the organisation to continue to develop the approach.

National Scheme

Qualitative observation really matters

"Audits that focus on policies, procedures and systems fail to take account of the real need to measure people’s quality of life - a model of care and people’s experience of this is, in the end, only as good as people’s actual lived experience" - Dr David Sheard, Founder, Dementia Care Matters

The Butterfly Model of Care Quality of Life Accreditation Award

 Benefit from: 

  • Participating in The Butterfly Model of Care Quality of Life Accreditation Award
  • Providing the Care Quality Commission with independent evidence
  • Being recognised for quality dementia care
  • Gaining external validation
  • Receiving an independent qualitative evaluation
  • Focusing on quality of life outcomes 

Dementia Care Matters is welcoming all dementia care homes in the UK to apply to become a Butterfly Home ®

Dementia care homes can apply to become a Butterfly Home ® even if they have not completed a Butterfly Project with Dementia Care Matters. The Home will need to demonstrate its success in achieving a good quality level of dementia care through a focus on the lived experience of people.   

Butterfly Home ® – Eligibility Criteria

Dementia Care Matters currently has a number of homes who have already achieved Butterfly Home ® status.  For a list of our current Butterfly Homes, click here 

A Butterfly Home ® has to meet the following criteria: 

  • Achieving Level 3 or above on our Qualitative Observational tool.
  • Subject to annual renewal by commissioning a Dementia Care Matters qualitative observation.
  • Evidence of acting on recommendations.

On satisfying these criteria an eligible Butterfly Home ® will receive: 

  • a certificate and award confirming the Care Home as an accredited Butterfly Home ®
  • inclusion on Dementia Care Matters website as a Butterfly Home ®
  • permission to use Dementia Care Matters Butterfly Home ® logo and branding on 
    agreed documentation
  • 10% reduction on Dementia Care Matters course fees 

Applying to be a Butterfly Home ®

To apply for Butterfly Home ® status an initial one day qualitative observation conducted by one Dementia Care Matters Consultant is required. The fee for this is £2k + VAT per home.

This fee provides all of the services above including the qualitative observation and detailed report. 

Annual renewal requires a repeat of this process 

To carry out the qualitative observation our Consultants use the Quality of Interaction Schedule.  This is a validated qualitative observational tool published in April 2008 by David Sheard and Alzheimer’s Society in a book titled “Enabling, quality of Life – an evaluation tool.” This is used to observe the quality of interaction between staff and people living with a dementia.  The current quality of care is measured and a “quality of life” baseline created. 

The observational report will identify key areas in an action plan to build quality of life change.  Annual renewal for a Butterfly Home ® will require an unannounced qualitative observation.

Granting Butterfly Home ® Status

Immediate Butterfly Home ® status will be awarded to a home that achieves level 3 or above on our Qualitative Observational tool.  The observational tool has 6 levels where Level 1 is a Home demonstrating exceptional person centred dementia care and Level 6 is a Home requiring a radical action plan to improve quality of life.  

If Level 3 is not achieved the home will have clear direction through the detailed report provided by Dementia Care Matters.  This report will identify the changes and developments needed to improve quality of life and become a Butterfly Home ®.  A second Qualitative Observation can be commissioned, within six months at the earliest, when the home is confident that the recommendations have been implemented and quality of life improvements have been made.  This will be at a reduced cost.

If you wish to discuss this major national scheme further please contact us on 01273 242335.