At the same time as it started implementing its new community-based support approach, Guideposts became aware of the many issues affecting people facing the challenges of dementia both in residential care and in the community. 

The standards of nursing care were in great need of improvement to support the need of people with dementia living in nursing and/or residential care. To address this, Guideposts came up with the idea of Teaching Nursing Home and launched its largest appeal yet. The appeal was successful and the Charity was able to build a 30 Bed Home.

Aiming to be a national centre of excellence, Guideposts Home carried out research into care practices and provided training for doctors, nurses and care staff into the effects of dementia and how best to care for individuals with the disease.

It also introduced a wide range of sensory and therapeutic activities such as a purposely designed sensory room and sensory garden, art therapy, activity sessions and music therapy. This work inspired the development of many of our services today including Arts and Memory Clubs, Lunch Clubs, Music Therapy Service and gardening at Thyme Together.

Attached to the Home, was Guideposts Care Research Centre. The purpose of the research was to develop a model of care that could be replicable across care homes and domiciliary care providers. The project was funded by the Department of Health, and carried out in conjunction with the Institute of Public Care at Oxford Brookes University. Thirty care homes across England took part in the research, which resulted in the production of Guideposts Dementia Care Development Pack, a comprehensive audit, training and consultancy tool for care providers; the first of its kind in the country.

Based on this research, Guideposts established DISC, a specialist Dementia Information Service and helpline for Carers. DISC's main aim was to provide advice and information as well as link carers to relevant support services. The service evolved into a new, improved service called www.dementiaweb.org.uk in collaboration with other dementia stakeholder organisations in Oxfordshire. Dementia Web provided comprehensive information and support to a wider audience including people with dementia, their families and carers, professionals and members of the public. It also developed post diagnosis handy guides such as Hints and Tips for Carers and Local Information Prescriptions (IPs).

Through this work, we found ourselves supporting many people who were struggling with other long-term conditions in addition to dementia, who would benefit from a more comprehensive information service covering all long-term conditions. We recognised that the need for this service was significant nationally, with an estimated 2.9 million people in the UK struggling with two or more long-term conditions. Also, despite our success in providing local information to a large part of the UK, we had to recognise that maintaining information was dependent on statutory funding; an unsustainable model at times of deep budget cuts. Any future support service would need to be financially sustainable, and capable of providing consistent local expertise across the UK.

So we came up with HERE First: a website and phone support service for people with long-term conditions, and the carers who support them. 

Also, from 2006-2016, our information and advice services extended to the provision of a Disability Information and Equipment  Demonstration service (Independent Living Centre) in Oxfordshire. This provided a platform for us to deliver face-to-face information and advice for people with a range of needs and disabilities, as well as demonstrate and provide assessments for mobility equipment. When the service had to close in 2016, Guideposts was offered the opportunity to run mobility equipment stores, where it could still provide independent living equipment, information and support. Over the past few months, Guideposts has been working to extend this service online, which it now delivers through a new platform called Care in One Place.