Dementia Awareness Month: You Are Not Alone – communicating, socialising and friendships

For a person with dementia, their family and other carers, one of the hardest changes is a sense of isolation. Today’s post is about socialising, friendships and communicating with people with dementia. It includes feedback from people with dementia on what matters to them, and there’s no better source of information!

YouTube: You Are Not Alone, Alzheimer’s Australia

hwdeffectivecommnWebpage: Effective Communication, Alzheimer’s Australia Vic

Losing the ability to communicate can be one of the most frustrating and difficult problems for people with dementia, their families and carers. In these short, helpful videos you will learn some practical communication tips.

communicating-across-dementiaBook: Communicating Across Dementia: How to Talk, Listen, Provide Stimulation and Give Comfort by Stephen Miller (2015)

Information and advice for making vital communication easier and more effective.

If someone close to you has dementia (Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common type) they need your help. You will know that communication has become more difficult and frustrating. This jargon-free book explains why this happens and how you can make important improvements by re-thinking your whole approach. Areas covered include:
– Creating the right conditions for good communication
– Making conversation easier
– Non-verbal communication
– Adaptations to the home
– Finding stimulating activities
– Dealing with difficult situations

Looking after a person with dementia involves many challenges. Good and effective communication can help to make these challenges more manageable and greatly reduce stress levels, both in the person with dementia and in his or her carer.

jdc_julyaug2016Article: Communication skills: emPoWereD Conversations, Sue Bellass, Phil McEvoy and Tracy Williamson, The Journal of Dementia Care, July-August 2016, p.16&18

Ordinary communication between people can be disrupted by dementia, but a new training programme offers a solution.

“Communication is a core aspect of human experience and has a profound effect on the quality of our lives. Being able to express ourselves, and to understand other people, shapes our sense of who we are and how we connect with our social world. The experience of dementia can disrupt interactions between people, potentially leading to frustration, misunderstandings and alienation (Snyder 2006). Here, we will report on a communication training programme designed to overcome some of these difficulties.” (p.16)

Note: should you be interested in this article please request it through our handy form.

Toolkit: Community Café Toolkit, Alzheimer’s Australia Vic

If you like getting involved, setting up a local Community Cafe may be right for you.

The toolkit contains:

  • A manual with instructions on ‘how to’ establish and run a community café in your region; and
  • Tools in the form of checklists, templates and resources to assist you in getting started and to assist in the day-to-day running of your café.

To request your copy of the Community Café Toolkit please click this link and then follow the prompts. If you are in Victoria, Australia please use this link instead.

aja351coverArticle: Facing the times: A young onset dementia support group: FacebookTM style, Denise Craig and Edward Strivens, p.48-53, Australasian Journal on Ageing, Vol. 35, Iss. 1, March 2016

Young onset dementia accounts for up to 1 in 10 dementia diagnoses. Those diagnosed face premature transition into the realm of aged care services and adjustment to an illness of ageing prior to age 65. To help elicit communication of the perceived psychosocial needs of this group, provide a platform to gain peer support and advocate for increased awareness, the Young Onset Dementia Support Group was established on the social networking site, FacebookTM. Followers post comments, read educational or otherwise interesting news feeds, share inspirational quotes and access others living with dementia worldwide. Facebook provides a means of rapid global reach in a way that allows people with dementia to increase their communications and potentially reduce isolation. This paper was authored by the page administrators. We aim to highlight the promising utility of a social network platform just entering its stride amongst health communication initiatives.

Note: should you be interested in this article please request it through our handy form.

when-someone-you-know-has-dementiaBook Chapter: Chapter 5, What Are Friends For? from When someone you know has dementia : practical advice for families and caregivers by June Andrews, 2016

“Dementia presents a particular problem to friends if you are not part of the family. You might not know much about it yourself and the whole idea of it is terrifying. You want to help but you are afraid of being embarrassing or inappropriate and you just don’t know what would make a difference. Reading this chapter will provide guidance what often does make a difference, based on what people with dementia their family caregivers say.” (p.79)

For those living in Victoria

Socialise: Memory Lane Cafes, Alzheimer’s Australia Vicmemory-lane-cafe

The Memory Lane Café program is available for people with dementia and their family members.

The Australian and Victorian governments, under the Home and Community Care Program, have provided  funding for Café Style Support Programs that are offered throughout Victoria.

These cafés provide an opportunity for people with dementia and their family members to enjoy time together with some refreshments and entertainment, in the company of people in a similar situation to themselves.  Alzheimer’s Australia Vic counselling staff and trained volunteers also attend.

For more information, click here.

dam2016publectPublic Lecture: International action on dementia, Dr Ron Petersen, 22 September 2016

Dementia Awareness Month 2016 signature lecture in Melbourne will feature international dementia expert, Dr Ron Peterson (Mayo Clinic, USA). Dr Petersen will share his latest insights and research findings about dementia and the US and global experiences in establishing a national dementia strategy. Dr Petersen is a world leader in the field of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. He is Director of the Mayo Clinic in the U.S. and was also Ronald Reagan’s personal physician and treated the former President of America’s Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr Petersen will discuss:

  • Latest insights and research findings about mild cognitive impairment and dementia
  • The US and global experiences in establishing a national dementia strategy

Who is this lecture for?

The general public, people with dementia, carers, service providers, health and aged care professionals, students, businesses and local government representatives are invited to attend this lecture.

Dementia-friendly communities – Communicating and socialising with a person with dementia

September is Dementia Awareness Month and this year we are focusing on how to create a dementia-friendly nation that empowers, respects and engages people with dementia in everyday life.  An important part of this is maintaining social connections and friendships.  People with dementia and carers alike frequently identify social isolation as one of the most profound impacts of disclosing their condition to others.

Many people are unsure how to communicate and socialise with a person with dementia and as a result, they may withdraw from a friendship or relationship with a person with dementia, particularly as the dementia progresses and the person with dementia finds it harder to express themselves. We humans are highly social creatures. Isolation from key friendships and family relationships greatly increases the stress and distress of people with dementia and those who care for them.

Our post today focuses on providing resources that help friends and family of people with dementia communicate and socialise together, for the enjoyment and benefit of all.

dementia - the one stop guideBook: Dementia – the one-stop guide : practical advice for families, professionals, and people living with dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease by June Andrews, 2015

Chapter 5 – What are friends for? has some great suggestions on how people with dementia and carers may be feeling about their personal circumstances and the reactions of friends, as well as practical suggestions for what friends can do to stay connected and offer genuine support.  June Andrews has some great words to offer in the opening paragraph:

“Dementia presents a particular problem to friends if you are not part of the family. You might not know much about it yourself and the whole idea of it is terrifying. You want to help, but you are afraid of being embarassing or inappropriate and you just don’t know what would make a difference. Reading this chapter will provide guidance on what often does make a difference, based on what people with dementia and their family carers say.” (p.75)

tips_friendsHelpsheet: Tips for Friends, Alzheimer’s Australia

This Sheet gives you a few tips on how you can support a friend with dementia and their family. You can make a difference.

“Although our lives are changed forever, there is life after diagnosis. We need our family and friends to walk alongside us as we build a new life” Nancy, carer

Effective communication DVDDVD: Effective Communication with people with dementia, Alzheimer’s Australia Vic

Understanding how dementia affects communication and finding ways to cater for the changes in people’s abilities can help to make communicating with people with dementia more effective and enjoyable.

Communication is one of the important ways that we achieve tasks, express our needs and stay connected with each other. People who have dementia usually experience a decline in their ability to communicate. This can be frustrating and difficult for everyone involved.

In this program, people with dementia and their families and carers show some common communication difficulties. They also demonstrate various techniques or strategies that can help. By adapting these strategies to individual circumstances, effective communication can be maintained throughout all stages of dementia.

Im_Still_hereBook: I’m still here : a breakthrough approach to understanding someone living with Alzheimer’s by John Zeisel, 2010

Chapter 7 – Building a new relationship and Chapter 8 – Appreciating the new relationship include valuable information on communicating with and building a relationship in the changed circumstances people with dementia may be experiencing. These chapters offer valuable insights into what it can be like to have dementia as well as strategies for providing sensitive and practical support to friends and family members with dementia.

tips_communicationHelpsheet: Communication

This Help Sheet explains some of the changes in communication that occur as a result of dementia and suggests ways that families and carers can help. It also includes some personal tips on communication written by a person with dementia.

talking_toolkit_bupaResource: The Talking Toolkit, Bupa Aged Care

It can be hard to communicate with a loved one who is living with dementia.

The Talking Toolkit contains advice from Bupa dementia care experts. There are also tips from carers in our care homes about how best to engage and connect with loved ones living with dementia.

This free resource can be downloaded here.

comforting touch_webBook: Comforting touch in dementia and end of life care : take my hand by Barbara Goldschmidt and Niamh van Meines, 2012

The simple sensation of touching someone’s hand can have a powerful therapeutic effect. Hand massage is a positive and meaningful way of reaching out and providing comfort to those who are elderly, ill or nearing the end of life, and it can be particularly effective for people with dementia who respond well to non-verbal interaction. This book offers inspiration for all caregivers looking for an alternative way to support and connect with a family member, friend or patient in their care. It teaches an easy 30 minute hand massage sequence and offers clear instructions and detailed illustrations to guide the reader through each step. Combining light massage strokes with focused awareness, and paying close attention to points on energy pathways, this book introduces a structured way of sharing touch that is grounded in Western and Eastern massage traditions.

Friends_matterResource: Friends Matter: How to stay connected to a friend living with dementia, Alzheimer’s Australia Vic, 2012

Friendships matter. Friends help us navigate life’s ups and downs. Friends accept us as we are.

What can we do to maintain this special bond when a friend is living with dementia? How do we stay connected in ways that are meaningful, and what interests can we continue to enjoy together?

These are some of the important questions this booklet aims to address. We hope the information and suggestions in this guide help you stay connected, as you discover different and meaningful ways to be with a friend living with dementia.

This free resource can be downloaded here.

 dementia journalArticle: The dance of communication: Retaining family membership despite severe non-speech dementia by Bruce D. Walmsley and Lynne McCormack, Dementia, Volume 13, Number 5, September 2014, p.626-641

There is minimal research investigating non-speech communication as a result of living with severe dementia. This phenomenological study explores retained awareness expressed through non-speech patterns of communication in a family member living with severe dementia. Further, it describes reciprocal efforts used by all family members to engage in alternative patterns of communication. Family interactions were filmed to observe speech and non-speech relational communication. Participants were four family groups each with a family member living with non-speech communication as a result of severe dementia. Overall there were 16 participants. Data were analysed using thematic analysis. One superordinate theme, Dance of Communication, describes the interactive patterns that were observed during family communication. Two subordinate themes emerged: (a) in-step; characterised by communication that indicated harmony, spontaneity and reciprocity, and; (b) out-of-step; characterised by communication that indicated disharmony, syncopation, and vulnerability. This study highlights that retained awareness can exist at levels previously unrecognised in those living with limited or absent speech as a result of severe dementia. A recommendation for the development of a communication program for caregivers of individuals living with dementia is presented.

Note: should you be interested in this article please request it through our handy form.

Resource: RELATE, MOTIVATE, APPRECIATE: An Introduction to Montessori Activities, Alzheimer’s Australia

This introduction to Montessori activities focuses on the elements of a meaningful interaction with someone living with dementia. The booklet outlines why the Montessori approach works, describes the “RELATE, MOTIVATE, APPRECIATE” model and the principles of engagement under this approach. A DVD is included to provide some visuals to further guide the approach.

Resource: RELATE, MOTIVATE, APPRECIATE: A Montessori Resource, Alzheimer’s Australia

RelateMotivateAppreciate-resource_webPeople with dementia are often confronted with what they can no longer do or with the mistakes that they make. Montessori principles are designed to focus on what they can still do. One of the main Montessori principles emphasises using less language, while at the same time promoting non-verbal communication by demonstrating everything that you would like the person to engage with. This book includes 28 activities. The activities are grouped under 5 themes: watching, listening, touching, smelling and tasting. These activities are a starting point that will hopefully serve as inspiration for you to think of activities that the person will enjoy.

doyouremembersmallBook: Do you remember? Written by Kelly O’Gara & Anna McNeil. Illustrated by Kelly O’Gara, 2014

This evocative picture book tells a lovely story of the relationship between two mice – one older, one younger – and also includes helpful, age-appropriate suggestions for how 4 – 8 year old children can interact with, and enjoy the company of people with dementia.

smellofchocolateBook: The smell of chocolate: and Pog’s Alzheimer fact file written and illustrated by Barbara McGuire, 2003

This book for children aged 8 – 12 includes a story about a boy and his grandfather, who has Alzheimer’s disease as well as a ‘Fact File’ at the end of the book which includes information on Alzheimer’s disease and a range of strategies children can use to interact with people with dementia, including some tips on communication.

 

Gardens for people with dementia

Ah, gardens! Fabulous places. Outdoor spaces are an important part of human life. They offer opportunities for relaxation, connection with nature, the chance to nurture and care for living things and the sensory benefits of sunlight, fresh air, soil and water.  Today’s post offers resources on garden design for people with dementia, the benefits of gardens for aged care facilities and how to successfully implement both outdoor and indoor gardens.

Dig in!

creating culturally approp spacesBook: Creating Culturally Appropriate Outside Spaces and Experiences for People with Dementia: Using Nature and the Outdoors in Person-Centred Care edited by Mary Marshall and Jane Gillard

Demonstrating that it is essential to be sensitive to the cultural backgrounds of people with dementia in order to provide truly person-centred care, this book shows that it is possible to create culturally appropriate outdoor spaces and experiences that resonate with people with dementia on a fundamental level and are a source of comfort and well-being.

Contributors drawn from a variety of backgrounds describe the significance of nature in the lives of people with dementia from diverse cultures, faiths, traditions and geographical locations, providing helpful insights into how access to the natural world may be achieved within different care settings. There are contributions from the UK (Scottish island, urban North East England and Norfolk farming communities), Canada, Norway, Japan, Australia, Sudan and South Africa, as well as a chapter on the specific difficulty of providing access to nature for people with dementia in hospitals. The voices of people with dementia and their carers are prominent throughout, and the book also contains evocative poetry and photographs of people with dementia enjoying nature and the outdoors in different contexts.

A rich source of information and ideas for all those interested in creating culturally appropriate outdoor spaces and experiences for people with dementia, including dementia care practitioners, especially those at managerial level, policy makers, commissioners and those involved in designing and commissioning buildings and services.

JGN_Sept2014Article: Multisensory Installations in Residential Aged-Care Facilities: Increasing Novelty and Encouraging Social Engagement through Modest Environmental Changes by Theresa L. Scott, Barbara M. Masser, Nancy A. Pachana, Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 40(9), 20–31

The current study examined the effect of an indoor simulated garden installation that included visual, auditory, and olfactory stimuli on resident well-being, compared to the effect elicited by a reminiscence installation and a control no-installation condition. A quasi-experimental ABA design was used (i.e., two intervention conditions plus a wait-list control condition). A survey instrument was administered to nursing home residents (N = 33) at three time points (pre-, during, and post intervention) over an 8-week period, which measured mood, behavior, health, and social interaction. Additionally, staff reports (N = 24) were collected. Both the nature-based and non-nature-based installations led to enhanced well-being and significantly more social benefits for residents because of their novel and aesthetic appeal, compared with the control condition. Residents in the nature-based installation condition reported more satisfaction with their living environment during the intervention phase than those in the comparison conditions. The results show that an indoor garden simulation is a relatively inexpensive way to transform a disused indoor area of an aged-care facility for the benefit of residents and staff.

Note: should you be interested in this article please request it through our handy form.

design outdoor spaces pwdBook: Designing outdoor spaces for people with dementia edited by Annie Pollock and Mary Marshall

In many facilities for people with dementia, there is often little or no access to the outdoors and to fresh air. Research shows that there are considerable benefits that come from spending time outdoors and having a good view out from a building. So, why is it that people living with dementia, often have poor access to outside spaces and the benefits that come from being outside?

‘Designing Outdoor Spaces for People with Dementia’ is a book that discusses how to effectively use outside spaces for people with dementia. The book is not an academic guide to research but a book for people in practice. It is filled with case studies of real examples from all over the world. The book is edited by internationally respected Mary Marshall and Annie Pollock.

Featuring authors from Japan, USA, Australia and Norway as well as the UK, the book provides a review of evidence based research supporting the importance of access to outdoor spaces; understanding how to use outdoor spaces appropriately and case studies from around the world describing how to develop and utilise well designed spaces for people with dementia.

The book is written for people who own and commission buildings for people with dementia, Architects and Landscape Architects, Managers of facilities for people with dementia, Medical, nursing and care staff as well as professions allied to medicine such as occupational therapists and physiotherapists and relatives of people with dementia and people living with dementia.

dementia journalArticle: Designing a garden for people with dementia – in a public space by Sally Furness and Jo Moriarty, Dementia, Vol. 5, no. 1 February 2006 p. 139-143

Charlecote Park is a Tudor house in Warwickshire, UK where Shakespeare is rumoured to have been once caught poaching. It is set in a deer park that was originally designed by Capability Brown, the famous British 18thcentury landscape gardener who was responsible for redesigning many of the gardens owned by the aristocracy of the time. Both house and garden are now owned by the UK’s National Trust and they are open to the public for the majority of the year. In 2002, the South Warwickshire branch of the Alzheimer’s Society commissioned Sally Furness to manage the creation of a therapeutic garden within a designated plot at Charlecote Park. The choice of site was important. Not only is the park an attractive place that is popular with visitors during the summer but, by integrating a garden for people with dementia into a public space, it was intended to help improve public awareness of the condition.

Note: should you be interested in this article please request it through our handy form.

dementia journalArticle: The Grange Garden Project : A garden for people with dementia – in a day centre by Maggie Weatherby and Jo Moriarty, Dementia, Vol. 5, no. 1 February 2006 p. 143-146

The Grange is a day centre for people with dementia located in north London and run by Haringey council. Although there was a garden at the rear of the building, it consisted of little more than a lawn, two or three mature trees, some overgrown shrubs and a summerhouse. Unsurprisingly, given the unstimulating environment, it was rarely used. This changed in 2002 when Olive Harper, one of the committee members of the Haringey Branch of the Alzheimer’s Society decided to apply for an After Dementia Millennium Award organized by the Alzheimer’s Society. These awards were funded by the Millennium Commission and consisted of grants for carers and former carers of a person with dementia to help them rebuild their lives and make links with their community during and after their caring role. She decided that she would apply for a grant to help set up a Grange Garden Carers Group. The group members wanted to develop the garden as a way of ‘giving something back’ in return for the support that they had received from the centre and to improve the quality of the environment for people with dementia, carers, and staff by providing somewhere in which people could relax, undertake simple horticultural tasks and keep in touch with nature through sensory stimulation.

Note: should you be interested in this article please request it through our handy form.

dementia journalArticle: Parkview House : A garden for people with dementia – in a care home by Simon Pollitt and Jo Moriarty, Dementia, Vol. 5, no. 1 February 2006 p. 146-149

Parkview House opened in 1993 as a care home for people with dementia in north London. It is owned by Sanctuary Housing Association and managed by 2Care, an independent charity supporting older people and people with mental health needs. The building itself is a modern two-storey design and is located in a residential area next to a park. Forty-five people live in the home and the intention is that they should be offered a home for life wherever possible.

Note: should you be interested in this article please request it through our handy form.

designing balconies roof gardensBook: Designing balconies, roof terraces and roof gardens for people with dementia by Mary Marshall, Emeritus Professor, University of Stirling

This book is one of a series to assist providers, architects, commissioners and managers to improve the design of buildings which are used by people with dementia. The book has been produced in response to an increasing number of requests for advice about the provision of outside space for buildings of more than one storey. As land values increase and people wish to remain in familiar inner city areas, we are more likely to see higher multi-storey care homes. This book describes practical ways in which new and existing buildings can maximise opportunities for people with dementia to access outside space using balconies, roof terraces and roof gardens.

AJDC_JunJul2015Article: ‘Why don’t we go into the garden?’, Mark Rendell and Debbie Carroll, Australian Journal of Dementia Care, Vol. 4, No. 3, June/July 2015, p.32-35

Garden designers Mark Rendell and Debbie Carroll collaborated in 2013 to research why gardens around care homes, particularly for people with dementia, were not being used more. Here’s their story.

Note: should you be interested in this article please request it through our handy form.

Article: Sowing seeds of well-being, Cath Manuel, Australian Journal of Dementia Care, Vol. 4, No. 3, June/July 2015, p.35

Cath Manuel runs a weekly gardening program for people with dementia on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. She explains how it works and the joy it brings.

Note: should you be interested in this article please request it through our handy form.

Article: Delighting the senses, Australian Journal of Dementia Care, Vol. 4, No. 3, June/July 2015, p.35

Use of gardens in Resthaven aged care service, South Australia.

Note: should you be interested in this article please request it through our handy form.

HealingGardensBook: Healing gardens : therapeutic benefits and design recommendations edited by Clare Cooper Marcus, Marni Barnes, 1999.

Unique and comprehensive, Healing Gardens provides up-to-date coverage of research findings, relevant design principles and approaches, and best practice examples of how for more and more people, the shortest road to recovery is the one that leads through a healing garden. Combining up-to-date information on the therapeutic benefits of healing gardens with practical design guidance from leading experts in the field, Healing Gardens is an invaluable guide for landscape architects and others involved in creating and maintaining medical facilities as well as an extremely useful reference for those responsible for patient care. With the help of site plans, photographs, and more, the editors present design guidelines and case studies for outdoor spaces in a range of medical settings, including: acute care general hospitals; psychiatric hospitals; children’s hospitals; nursing homes; Alzheimer’s facilities; hospices.

JDC_NovDec2007Article: The Dementia Care Garden: part of daily life and activity by Garuth Chalfont, Journal of Dementia Care, Vol. 15, No.6, November/December 2007, p.24-28

In this first of two articles, Garuth Chalfont discusses the benefits to people with dementia of everyday contact with gardens and the natural world, and gives guidance on how care homes can make engaging with nature a normal, regular aspect of daily life.

Note: should you be interested in this article please request it through our handy form.

JDC_JanFeb2008

Article: The Dementia Care Garden: innovation in design and practice by Garuth Chalfont, Journal of Dementia Care, Vol. 16, No.1, January/February 2008, p.18-20

In the second of two articles, Garuth Chalfont gives practical advice on creating a Dementia Care Garden, and presents a case study showing how one care home improved and integrated three garden areas.

Note: should you be interested in this article please request it through our handy form.

Free Community Seminars on Dementia

PrintDuring 2015 there are a number of free community seminars offered by Alzheimer’s Australia which may help you understand dementia better and/or implement simple changes which can make a big difference to a person with dementia?

Note: the seminars posted here are for Victoria, if you are interested in finding out more about Community Seminars for other Australian states, please contact your local Alzheimer’s Australia office.

How dementia-friendly is your home?

Join us to examine some simple and practical design solutions that you can implement in your own home to create a dementia-friendly environment. Learn how elements such as lighting, sound and colour can be effectively used to create a calm and enabling environment. The implementation of which, may make a significant difference to the quality of life and wellbeing for a person living with dementia.

This seminar is suitable for the general community which may also include health professionals, family carers and people with dementia.

Where? Caulfield Park Pavilion, Balaclava Road, Caulfield VIC 3162

When? Wednesday, 15 April 2015

2:45pm – 3:00pm – Registration and refreshment,

3:00pm – 4:00pm – Seminar,

4:00pm – 4:30pm – Question time

Speaker: Terri Preece, Assistant Course Developer, Alzheimer’s Australia Vic

Book online: https://caulfield.eventarc.com/26264

Advances in the early diagnosis of dementia: challenges and opportunities.

The diagnosis of brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease is now much more precise. Whilst our knowledge of the dementias and their subtypes has evolved, we can now use developments including brain imaging and neuropsychological testing to “rule in” these specific diagnoses rather than ‘rule out’ other conditions. In a specialist centre or through a specialist in the diagnosis of cognitive disorders, a precise diagnosis can be made in the vast majority of cases.

This seminar is suitable for the general community which may also include health professionals, family carers and anyone with memory concerns.

Where? Yarra Room, Melbourne Town Hall, 90-120 Swanston Street, Melbourne VIC 3000

When? Tuesday, 19 May 2015

5:20pm – 5:40pm       Registration and refreshment

5:40pm – 6:40pm       Seminar

6:40pm – 7:10pm       Question time

Speaker: Associate Professor Michael Woodward, Director – Aged Care, Austin Health

Book online: https://melbourne.eventarc.com/26266

Dementia – Breaking down the Myths

Join us to find out what dementia is and what it is not. This seminar will explain, in simple terms, what dementia is including main causes, especially Alzheimer’s disease, key signs and symptoms and risk factors. It will also explain why changes to behaviour occur. Common myths and misconceptions about dementia will be addressed as well as concerns you might have. In addition, the seminar will explain the importance of seeking a diagnosis if noticing changes and how you can access further information as well as appropriate support and services if and when needed.

This seminar is suitable for the general community which may also include health professionals, family carers and people with dementia.

Where? Warracknabeal Community Centre, Anzac Park, Scott St, Warracknabeal VIC 3393

When? Tuesday, 16 June 2015

2:45pm – 3:00pm – Registration and refreshment,

3:00pm – 4:00pm – Seminar,

4:00pm – 4:30pm – Question time

Speaker: Garrie O’Toole, Facilitator, Alzheimer’s Australia Vic

Book online: https://warracknabeal.eventarc.com/26268

Your Brain Matters

How adopting a healthier lifestyle approach will improve your brain health and may reduce your risk of developing dementia.

This seminar is suitable for the general community which may also include health professionals, family carers and people with dementia.

Where? Quantin Binnah Community Centre, 61 Thames Boulevard, Werribee VIC 3030, Australia

When? Tuesday, 4 August 2015

19:30 – 19:45   Registration and refreshment

19:45 – 20:45   Seminar

20:45 – 21:15   Question time

Speaker: Andrew Italia, Facilitator, Alzheimer’s Australia Vic

Book online: https://werribee.eventarc.com/29119

Bookings close: Tuesday, 28 July 2015

 Your Brain Matters

How adopting a healthier lifestyle approach will improve your brain health and may reduce your risk of developing dementia.

This seminar is suitable for the general community which may also include health professionals, family carers and anyone with memory concerns.

Where? Balla Ball Community Centre, Building 03, Casey Indoor Leisure Complex, 65 Berwick Cranbourne Road, Cranbourne East VIC 3977

When? Thursday, 8 October 2015

10:00 – 10:15   Registration and refreshment

10:15 – 11:15   Seminar

11:15 – 11:45   Question time

Speaker: Emma Dabb, Facilitator, Alzheimer’s Australia Vic

Book online: https://cranbourne.eventarc.com/29120

Bookings close: Thursday, 1 October 2015

Worried About Your Memory

Join us to find out:

how memory works, common memory changes that occur with ageing, health factors that can impact on memory function and when memory difficulties need to be investigated. This session will also provide tips on how to improve your memory.

This seminar is suitable for the general community which may also include health professionals, family carers and people with dementia.

Where? The Wodonga Cube, 118 Hovell Street, Wodonga VIC 3690, Australia

When? Wednesday, 21 October 2015

2:45pm – 3:00pm – Registration and refreshment,

3:00pm – 4:00pm – Seminar,

4:00pm – 4:30pm – Question time

Speaker: Laurel Gourlay, Community Education Coordinator, Alzheimer’s Australia Vic

Book online: https://wodonga.eventarc.com/29444

Bookings close: Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Dementia – Breaking down the Myths

Join us to find out what dementia is and what it is not. This seminar will explain, in simple terms, what dementia is including main causes, especially Alzheimer’s disease, key signs and symptoms and risk factors. It will also explain why changes to behaviour occur. Common myths and misconceptions about dementia will be addressed as well as concerns you might have. In addition, the seminar will explain the importance of seeking a diagnosis if noticing changes and how you can access further information as well as appropriate support and services if and when needed.

This seminar is suitable for the general community which may also include health professionals, family carers and people with dementia.

Where? Neerim District Cricket Club, 17 Neerim East Road, Neerim South VIC 3831

When? Wednesday, 2 December 2015

2:45pm – 3:00pm – Registration and refreshment,

3:00pm – 4:00pm – Seminar,

4:00pm – 4:30pm – Question time

Speaker: Michelle Foster, Facilitator, Alzheimer’s Australia Vic

Book online: https://neerimsouth.eventarc.com/29507

Bookings close: Wednesday, 25 November 2015

 

How to design a more dementia-friendly home or assisted living environment

This post presents a range of resources on how to design or modify home and assisted living environments to be more dementia-friendly. Many of the resources in today’s post are books.

Remember, you are welcome to visit us in the library to take a look at these books and articles.  We can also send them out to you if that is not possible. At the end of this post, there are links to the web form you can use to request books or articles that are of interest – but remember, you must be a member of Alzheimer’s Australia VIC :-).

Dementia design for the home

10-Helpful-Hints-Dementia-Design-Home-MediumBook: 10 helpful hints for dementia design at home: Practical design solutions for carers living at home with someone who has dementia

This book focuses on practical design tips which may result in greater independence for people with dementia living in their home. Many ideas included in this book are low or no cost.  The book’s introduction sums its purpose up nicely:

‘People with dementia and those who live with and care for them have a lot to contend with. However, some everyday problems are actually unnecessary. This book is intended as a practical guide to making things easier through making adjustments in your home or wherever a person with dementia is living, or being cared for. (p.3)’

Book and website: Adapting Your Home: Supporting people in their home environment

Adapting your homeThis Alzheimer’s Australia publication and accompanying website has a multitude of helpful suggestions on how to transform your home so that it better supports and enables someone who has dementia. Making changes to the home can result in significant changes in well-being, health and independence for a person with dementia.

This resource includes information on personal considerations, improving lighting, specific detail on changes to different rooms to enhance their utility for a person with dementia, garden design and participation, other useful resources and a checklist for conducting a home audit.

Design for assisted living settings

Book: ArchitArchitetecture for an_webecture for an Ageing Population

This compilation of more than 30 outstanding projects in the areas of assisted living, continuing care retirement communities and nursing homes represents the best current work designed by architects for the ever-increasing population of the ageing and elderly. Each project is presented with photographs, detailed plans and statistics, illuminating the high level of research, planning and community involvement that goes into these advancements in living environments for seniors.

designing interiors for people with dementiaBook: Designing interiors for people with dementia, Richard Pollock

The interiors of buildings can be designed to compensate for the disabilities arising from dementia, including impaired memory, especially recent memory; impaired learning; impaired reasoning; high levels of stress; increasing dependence on the senses, yet often impaired visual perception.  If we provide the right environment, we can help people to remain as independent as they can be.  This book focuses primarily on fixtures and fittings in the context of interior design.

DesigningMentalHealthUnitsBook: Designing mental health units for older people, Mary Marshall

People with dementia who are admitted to older people’s mental health units are usually acutely distressed. They need an environment which is calm, quiet, understandable and safe. Dementia-friendly design is a non-pharmaceutical intervention in itself. It also provides the optimal setting for the full range of interventions that people with dementia in older people’s mental health units will receive. It is almost cost neutral and simply requires a real understanding of the impairments that old age and dementia bring, and which are especially complex when combined.

AAA_NovDec14Article: Bad buildings and challenging behaviours, Colm Cunningham and Rebecca Forbes, Australian Ageing Agenda, November – December 2014

When good design features are missing it’s much more likely that people with dementia will display excess BPSD as a result of the confusion and frustration caused by their environment.

EBDjournalJournal: Evidence Based Design, Journal 1: Aged Care: Evidence-based strategies for the design of aged-care environments

This free, PDF-based journal focuses it’s first issue on design of aged care facilities. Over 1,190 research publications were reviewed, with only those articles most relevant to the design process selected.
Issue 01 of the EBD journal is essential reading for anyone developing a new aged care facility, or remodelling an existing one. Containing globally relevant, detailed case studies, evidence based design strategies, and articles about future trends, the Aged Care Issue of EBD Journal will assist you with brief development, design and facility management.

 Other environmental considerations

hearing, sound and the acoustic environmentBook: Hearing, sound and the acoustic environment for people with dementia, Maria McManus and Clifford McClenaghan

This book is one of a series published by Hammond Press to assist providers, architects, commissioners and managers to improve the design of buildings which are used by people with dementia. The quality of the acoustic environment is a vital component of good dementia-friendly design. People need to be able to hear well in order to make sense of it and in order to function at the highest level possible. It is essential that adaptations which simplify and clarify the acoustic environment, and which reduce discomfort and auditory ‘clutter’ are put in place. Good acoustics can actively contribute to ensuring that a person with dementia can communicate and remain included within the community within which they live, be that a care home, supported housing scheme or hospital care.

lightandlightingdesignBook: Light and lighting design for people with dementia, David McNair, Colm Cunningham, Richard Pollock, Brain McGuire

This book is allso from the series published by the Hammond Press to assist providers, architects, commissioners and managers to improve the design of buildings which are used by people with dementia. It provides guidance on appropriate lighting design for environments used by people with dementia and is relevant for new-builds, refurbishments and alterations to residential buildings. The visual sense can act as a critical tool, allowing the person with dementia to make sense of their environment and maximise their remaining abilities. As a result, good lighting design can enable a person with dementia to experience more independence, have more of a choice and thus retain more dignity.

AJDCdec13jan14Article: The importance of colour in dementia design, Debbie de Fiddes, Australian Journal of Dementia Care Vol. 2 No. 6, December 2013/January 2014

In the first of a series of articles explaining the connection between colour and lighting and the impact thoughtful design can have on the living environment for people with dementia, Debbie de Fiddes explains why colour is so important.

AJDC_AprMay2014Article: The power of colour, Debbie de Fiddes, Australian Journal of Dementia Care Vol. 3 No. 2, April/May 2014

In the second article about the impact of thoughtful design on the living environment for people with dementia, Debbie de Fiddes continues to explore the role of colour and explains how it can be used as a therapeutic tool.

Interested in an article or book?

You can request books or articles here. Remember, you do need to be a member of Alzheimer’s Australia VIC!  Find out more about joining here.

 

Creating a dementia-friendly nation – Dementia Awareness Month

dementia friendly nationEvery September we work extra, extra hard to draw Australia’s attention to dementia and this September is no exception. Our focus this year is Creating a dementia-friendly nation.  A dementia-friendly nation encourages Australians to become dementia-aware and to have a better understanding of what it is like for a person to live with dementia. We are keen to help communities become dementia-friendly, where people with dementia feel understood, engaged, included and valued.

During September there will be a range of events that you may be interested in attending. Here’s an excerpt from the calendar, you can find the full schedule of events here:

14 September: Memory Walk and Jog Geelong. Find out more info or register for this event.

18 September: Dementia Awareness Month Public Lecture: Dementia-friendly concepts and communities by Steve Milton. Steve Milton is one of three directors of Innovations in Dementia, a not-for-profit community interest company in the UK. Innovations in Dementia work with people with dementia, partner organisations and professionals to develop and test projects that enhance the lives of people with dementia. Steve takes a leading role on dementia-friendly communities – and despite their small size – Innovations in Dementia’s work in this area has been highly influential in the UK, which made the creation of dementia-friendly communities a priority of the Prime Ministers Dementia Challenge in 2012. Register for this event. Or download a flyer with more information on the event.

21 September: World Alzheimer’s Day

Activities are planned for all over Victoria, take a squiz at the Calendar of Events which includes detail on Melbourne-based and regional events. Whether you’re in Glen Waverley, Leongatha or Mildura, we have something for you.