In 2020, an estimated 459,000 Australians have dementia. While many of them live at home with the support of families and carers, a large proportion of people with some form of dementia live in residential aged care homes.
For all of them, professional support is vital.
SummitCare Baulkham Hills Manager of Care and Wellbeing – Jane Hammon says that dementia can happen to anybody, but it is more common after the age of 65 years.
“What that means is that many of our residents require specifically developed clinical care, programs and activities that can help make a positive difference to manage their condition,” she says.
SummitCare operates 10 nursing homes, nine in Sydney and one in Wallsend, Newcastle. They are known for providing the highest level of professional and compassionate care, including low, high and dementia-specific support, focusing on individual resident’s wellbeing. Wallsend, Baulkham Hills and Penrith feature Dementia Care Units, dedicated spaces where residents with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia receive specialised and personalised care.
“Across all of our homes, the SummitCare team practices a range of care options that can help to reduce symptoms of anxiety, memory loss and frustration,” adds Jane.
“This includes emotional support, consistency of support staff, medication management, help with personal grooming, showering and toileting, individualised activities, dedicated safe ‘wandering’ areas, quiet spaces away from groups and the TV, effective pain management to limit confusion and distress, and staff who are happy to spend time listening.
Good dementia care should also involve relatives, carers and friends as much as possible. This includes consulting and actively involving them in care planning and review. They should be treated as partners in caring, not just as someone who can help at meal times.