Dementia Services Team Reflect on Dementia Action Week
Dementia Action Week runs from the 16th – 22nd of September challenging our community’s perceptions around people living with dementia.
Dementia Australia asks “Dementia Doesn’t Discriminate. Do you?”
Southern Cross Care’s Dementia Services Team Manager Rejane Le Grange first-hand experiences with clients and families is that many people feel awkward around a person with dementia, and find it very confronting talking to that individual with the condition.
Rejane explains “The impact over time is that people living with dementia are more likely to not see friends and family, creating further problems of isolation and loneliness. It is important to remember that each person with dementia is trying their best to preserve the status quo of their life while living with a dying brain. The person with dementia cannot change, so we therefore need to support change and adjust the approach of those around the person. Our Dementia Services Team helps people to understand how dementia is affecting a person. Together we work towards strategies that encourage and support ‘doing with’ rather than ‘doing for’ the person living with dementia”
Each person living with dementia is unique, so it is important that we understand what provides them with a sense of purpose.
When the Dementia Services Team is developing a care plan for a client with dementia they will consider and assess the person’s past, their personality and preferences, their physical health and brain changes, their awareness and use of time, their environment and the stakeholders. This information is then used to seek missing information, explore priorities and make plans.
As part of SCC’s commitment to offering the best possible dementia care, this year Rejane undertook additional training in Positive Approach to Care with leading internationally recognised dementia trainer and consultant, Teepa Snow.
“It is part of our role to offer consultation to the organisation, managers and external organisations to ensure we remain contemporary in our assessments, evaluations and care. Problem-solving is the domain of the Dementia Services team, often requiring the team to support outside the box thinking or help people to approach problems with an insight in order to respond to difficult situations,” Rejane said.