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Breakout session focusing on consumers living within a community setting

Session Type: 
Friday, March 29, 2019 - 14:00 to 15:00

This breakout session includes the following two topics: Caring about Dementia and Positive Communities.

Cate Doyle & Sally Henry, Healthwise (10-12ppl)
Caring about Dementia:
Background: HealthWISE New England North West identified that there was an opportunity to enhance information available to support carers of people living with dementia when they experience changed behaviours and behaviours of concern. 

Approach: HealthWISE teamed up with Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation to produce a series of video vignettes for viewing on YouTube and for distribution amongst partners in the New England and North West and beyond. We utilised local dementia support worker Sally Henry, carers and Prof Sue Kurrle in the videos.


  • 10 videos were produced and marketed to a broad audience including carers and health professionals. 
  • Some organisations uploaded them to their websites and plan to use them for staff training. 
  • Topics include communication, self care, decision making, exercise, driving and general tips. There are also 3 videos where current carers discuss their own experiences and what they have learnt about themselves through the caring process.
  • We are hopeful that these videos will assist a broad range of people in the community and that they will positively affect the level of stress, anxiety or depression for carers of people living with dementia. 

The videos will be formally launched in November 2018.

Bronwyn Mitchell, Lifebridge
Positive Communities:
Lifebridge Australia is a community based Aged Care and Disability organisation that has used Montessori principles since early 2000.

Recently these principles have been used to create the Lifebridge Advantage (LBA). 

Using the theories of Positive Psychology, Montessori and self-organised teams LBA flattens the hierarchical structure and empowers both customers and staff alike.

Specific examples of programs that encapsulate the LBA are:

  • Move to the Groove – run by an ex Dorothy the Dinasour dancer for people with early onset dementia. Using the love of music and movement, the group connect by shedding their need to remember and allowing their bodies to take over and respond to the music
  • Men’s Out and About Group – men with and without dementia working together on projects within the community. A comradery is built where people share their expertise and experiences to remain valued and respected members of their local communities
  • Friday Engagement Group – a high needs dementia group who direct their own activities with an emphasis on peer support and teaching. This group is growing in numbers not because of referral rather, because larger numbers can be accommodated as the group manages itself and is engaged.
  • Disability Art Group – an art group for people with a disability with a twist. They have established their own shop front, where they produce works for sale, sell to paying customers who visit the shop, whilst engaging with other local retailers and the local art community. Community engagement at its best.

All 4 projects have taken the interest and passions of the workers, giving them autonomy to work as a self-organised team, where Lifebridge customers form an integral part of the team to create an experience that has meaning and purpose for everyone involved.

Questions or Contact?

Contact Kara who’ll assist you with any enquiry:

Phone: 1300 336 488 

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