From Sector-wide Leadership to Personalised Dementia Care

Trust and Purpose – # 3

As the residential aged care world faces its possibly toughest time, leading NSW provider SummitCare is developing a series of articles around the theme of Trust and Purpose, designed to give readers some insights into what we do, how and why we do it. These concepts are vital to us and drive us every day – encouraging Trust in our residents, staff and communities and providing Purpose in people’s lives. This is the second story in the series, profiling SummitCare’s industry-leading work in Dementia Care, and the Trust and Purpose we always hope to inspire.

Dementia affects close to half a million Australians. Unfortunately, many of us will start experiencing the impact of dementia amongst our own family and friends in the coming years.

During Dementia Action Week between 21-27 September, we acknowledge those of us who live with or love someone who has dementia and are being asked to remember this year’s theme ‘A little support makes a lot of difference’.

Dementia Action Week is run by Dementia Australia, the organisation that advocates for the needs of people living with all types of dementia, and for their families and carers, and provides support services, education and information. Dementia Australia is a member of Alzheimer’s Disease International, the umbrella organisation of Dementia and Alzheimer’s Associations around the world, and works with public, private and not-for-profit organisations all over Australia providing valuable support and assistance.

Leading residential aged care provider, SummitCare, has a proud history of working with Dementia Australia. Chief Operating Officer, Michelle Sloane, says dementia care has a ‘special and dedicated focus across the SummitCare group of ten nursing homes in Sydney and in Wallsend, Newcastle.’

“The aim of Dementia Action Week is to encourage all Australians to become more dementia aware, to get a better understanding of what it’s like to live with dementia, and to create communities where people with dementia are supported and can enjoy a better quality of life,” she says.

“It is a theme SummitCare wholeheartedly endorses and are happy to support.” 

SummitCare’s homes are known for providing the highest level of low, high and dementia- specific support, focusing on individual resident’s wellbeing.

Their homes in 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 attention.

The SummitCare team practices a range of care options that can help to reduce symptoms of anxiety, memory loss and frustration. 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.

In August, Dementia Australia released its Quality Care Initiative Action Plan for the future. Its focus is on leadership, culture change, building workforce capacity and continuous improvement as the essential elements to ensuring quality care for people living with dementia.

“SummitCare supports the Action Plan not only as a way forward, but for its intent,” says Michelle Sloane.

“It is up to us as, both as an industry and as a caring society, to do everything in our power to support people living with dementia, their families and their carers the very best ways that we can.”

For more information on Dementia Australia Action Week, visit Dementia Australia or contact a SummitCare home for more details on specific Dementia Care activities.
From Sector-wide Leadership to Personalised Dementia Care