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Breakout session focusing on a residential setting

Session Type: 
Focus category: 
Thursday, March 28, 2019 - 14:10 to 15:10

This breakout sessions includes the following three topics: Household Model - Making everyday the best day possible; 10 questions to ask when seeking residential aged care and Evidence-informed reablement guidelines

Danielle Dyce, Macleay Valley House
Household Model – Making everyday the best day possible:
Best practice dementia care is that which follows a person-centred approach to care. To truly offer this type of care institutions must move away from the purely clinical model of care which focused on the illness and health problems of residents. Dementia is not a disease, but rather a group of symptoms caused by damage to the brain. 

People living with dementia often have trouble putting together the steps which make up everyday activities, but with a little help are able to do so much. That is where the household model of care comes in.

This innovative approach to dementia care focuses on enabling the person living with dementia, to be as independent as possible whilst being fully supported to ensure safety, confidence, happiness, and emotional and social wellbeing. 

I would like to show you some of the ways in which we incorporate our household model of care into everyday life at Macleay Valley House, and how we make sure that all our resident family members have the best day possible every day they are staying with us. 

Over the past couple of years we have worked hard to put together a program which we feel meets the needs of our residents living with dementia. A lot of this has been by trial and error, but we now have a very interesting, enabling and supportive program in which we do our best to cater to the individual needs of each of our resident family members.

I invite you all to enjoy this presentation and see “What a good day looks like in our happy household”.

Helen Macukewicz, NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association
10 questions to ask when seeking residential aged care:
Is the place dementia friendly? Are staff trained in dementia care? How are people supported to make decisions for as long as possible? Navigating aged care is challenging.

A NSW Aged Care Roundtable of medical, nursing and community advocacy experts designed a series of leaflets to assist consumers.

The decision to enter residential aged care is often made in times of crisis. Many facilities offer ‘Dementia Specific’ services – but what does this mean and how can consumers choose between two services that appear similar? Once a contract with an aged care provider is agreed there are financial implications and long term commitment to age in place. Getting the right information in advance is central to informed decision making.

The roundtable collaborated on a series of leaflets based on a simple “10 Questions to Ask” when seeking residential aged care, to raise consumer expectation and drive quality. Information has been co-produced and endorsed by medical, clinical and community advocacy aged care experts. Each leaflet covers one aspect such as staffing; cultural and linguistic needs, fees and contracts and dementia care. Leaflets are available from GP surgeries, community centres, libraries and hospitals across NSW. There is also a dedicated website for people to download copies and see which organisations were involved.

Chris Poulos, HammondCare, Centre for Positive Ageing
Evidence-informed reablement guidelines to support function in people living with mild to moderate dementia:
‘Reablement’, a relatively new concept in Australia and internationally, is being promoted as a means of helping older people regain or maintain their functional ability. Yet, definitions as to what reablement is vary widely, and most research reporting the outcomes of reablement programs have largely excluded people living with dementia.

A recently completed project funded by the NHMRC Cognitive Decline Partnership Centre, and led by researchers from the University of New South Wales and service provider HammondCare, has developed a series of free resources for the aged and community care sectors, focusing on reablement in the context of dementia. Following an extensive literature review of the available evidence, the resources present reablement programs that could delay the onset or slow the progression of functional decline, and/or improve functioning and quality of life, for people living with mild to moderate dementia.

The resources consist of a Sector Handbook which outlines a number of evidence-informed reablement programs for people living with dementia. The programs span three main domains of functional ability: 1. Supporting everyday activities; 2. Supporting mobility and physical function; 3. Supporting cognition and communication. The Handbook is a practical ‘how-to’ guide, specifically for service providers. 

Also available is a Technical Guide, which contains a detailed synthesis of the research studies that were used to compile the reablement programs. The Technical Guide is aimed at allied health and other practitioners who want to understand more about the background and content of the interventions.

Rounding out the resources is a Consumer Booklet, which outlines the nature and benefits of reablement. All three resources are freely available through download, available at:

This presentation will describe how the resources were developed and how they can be applied, especially considering their context within available funding programs.

Questions or Contact?

Contact Kara who’ll assist you with any enquiry:

Phone: 1300 336 488 

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