A little support makes a lot of difference

Dementia Awareness Week: 21 – 27 September 2020

Dementia affects close to half a million Australians. That number is set double in the next 25 years.

Many Australians will start experiencing the impact of dementia amongst their own family and friends in the coming years.

With over 25 years of experience in aged care, we have come to truly understand the unique challenges that dementia can present for residents and their families. Everything has been developed to provide comprehensive, specialised care from home design and staff training, through to nutrition, therapy and leisure activities. We ensure our residents have every opportunity to enjoy a safe, sustainable and comfortable life, tailored to them.

Dementia Liaison staff

Our Dementia Liaison role is an additional point of contact for families of residents living with dementia. The Dementia Liaison works with the resident, relatives and our Regis team to build a care program that understands the unique needs and the community around them. They are an integral single point of contact within the dementia wing and are vital for the progression of our residents and their families. Some of the key areas the Dementia Liaison role encompasses include:

  • Supporting resident admissions to the dementia wing
  • Coordinating family education and support programs delivered by bodies such as Dementia Australia and organising family activities to help build community
  • Assisting the Lifestyle Coordinator to create a tailor-made lifestyle calendar of therapy programs
  • Acting as a key point of contact for family members of our Residents

Regis Club and Reserve Dementia Specific Program

We understand how critical it is to provide bespoke care for our residents living with dementia; that’s why we’ve been reviewing our Club and Reserve DSU Program, speaking with subject matter experts both within Regis and externally, and have ongoing consultations with staff working in our dementia wings. In looking to build a new model for dementia care at Regis, we have hosted multiple focus groups across Australia – meeting families and loved ones of residents’  in our homes to capture their insights into how we can improve our Dementia care service and better meet the needs of our residents.

We’ve ensured that as specific needs come into play with residents living with dementia, the shift in care will not mean any reduction in what they have become accustomed to with our Club or Reserve offer. We provide the premium product that our residents require, whilst providing them with tailored dementia care to support their every need.

Regis provides residents living with dementia a number of programs to support them at Regis. These include PARO Therapy, Activity Stations, Table Top Activities, Music Memories, Resi @ Home and Sundowners Program.

PARO Therapy

Doris with PARO

Our dementia care combines quality aged care with innovative therapies such as PARO – a robotic seal (carebot). Since coming to Regis in 2015, it has enjoyed immense popularity with our dementia residents. The aim of PARO Therapy is to improve the well-being and clinical outcome for residents through the use of the therapeutic robotic seals. This is usually with residents who are resistive to standard intervention practices. With the use of PARO nationally, we are committed to using this innovative therapy to improve the well-being of all our residents.

Regis is committed to continuing and developing our comprehensive, specialised care so that all residents feel safe, comfortable and cared for.

Activity Stations

Activity Stations provide residents with opportunities to engage with familiar resources at a time which suits them. They are based on residents past interests and could include a home office, nursery, laundry corner, sewing station or sensory garden – to name but a few. There are a plethora of benefits which Activity Stations provide for our residents, including:

  • An opportunity to engage with items which they are familiar with
  • Providing purposeful and meaningful occupational activities
  • Enables the resident to feel useful
  • Increases self-esteem, confidence, independence, feeling valued and respected

Table Top Activities

Table Top Activities provides residents with opportunities to engage with familiar resources. These could include books and magazines, games, puzzles, knitting baskets and postcards. These are based on residents past interest and needs and can have really positive outcomes for residents living with dementia.

Music Memories

We aim to provide individualised lifestyle initiatives for our residents living in our homes. Music Memories is one of these tailored programs which is aimed at residents who are experiencing symptoms of dementia, depression, anxiety and restlessness. The program allows residents to connect with a past and present interest in music, customised to their likes.

Barbara Else, Senior advisor of policy and research at the American Music Therapy Association says:

“We have such a deep connection to music because it is ‘hardwired’ in our brains and bodies. The elements of music – rhythm, melody, etc. – are echoed in our physiology, functioning and being.”

The benefits our residents see who engage with Music Memories include improved mood, reduced stress, better memory and a reduction in anxiety. Not only this, but it can rekindle positive memories and shift negative thinking patterns.

Whether it be listening to the smooth, soft tones of Jazz or winding down with classical notes from the comfort of a chair or bed, music can provide a better quality of life to our resident in many ways.

 Resi @ Home

Our Resi @ Home program provides residents with opportunities to complete tasks which they are familiar with and have completed their entire life. Such tasks could include washing dishes, folding clothes, preparing meals or packing lunchboxes. When our residents engage with this program, the outcomes are excellent. It provides our residents with purposeful and meaningful activities which enables them to feel useful. In addition, it improves their health and well-being – physical, cognitive and emotional. And also allows our residents to maintain and develop skills and knowledge.

Sundowners Program

Sundowning refers to brain changes occurring in the late afternoon and into the evening. It is a symptom of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia and can cause a variety of behaviours, including anxiety, restlessness, confusion and aggression. Regis has a program in place to help residents which includes a number of strategies and activities.

Our program offers:

  • Aromatherapy & sensory activities
  • Art & meditative colouring activities
  • And strategies around routines and familiar activities

Regis is committed to continuing and developing our comprehensive, specialised care so that all residents feel safe, comfortable and cared for.