Poetry and dementia

poetry and dementia banner

Poetry reaffirms our common humanity by revealing to us that individuals, everywhere in the world, share the same questions and feelings. Poetry is the mainstay of oral tradition and, over centuries, can communicate the innermost values of diverse cultures.

This post looks at how poetry might intersect with dementia.


poetryanddementiaPoetry and dementia : a practical guide  /  John Killick  (2017)

Poetry is an engaging and inclusive activity for older people that can help develop memory, imagination and identity. This book provides guidance on setting up and monitoring poetry projects for people living with dementia in group care homes and individual families. It explains the benefits of creative expression for people with dementia, and shows how to facilitate poetry reading and writing groups in different environments.Specific techniques for introducing poetry to older people can be employed by family members or professional care staff to enhance the wellbeing of the individual living with dementia. The ethical issues of running poetry projects in dementia care are explored along with examples of poetry produced by individuals and groups, interviews with care workers, and case studies.

Available from the Dementia Australia library in hard copy or Ebook


forget-me-nots-2017Forget-me-nots = Spominčice  /  Danijela Hliš ; editor, Blaž Propótnik ; illustrations, Stephen Wilson.  (2017)

A bilingual collection of poems and stories about living with dementia, written by author Danijela Hlis.
The book titled Forget me nots/Spomincice is written in Slovenian and English and it has received a grant from the Slovenian Ministry of Arts and Culture.
With 45 years of writing behind her and two previous published books, (Hideaway Serenade and Whisper), Danijela has used her writing talents as well as her experiences with people living with dementia to produce the new book.
For bilingual individuals living with dementia, reversion to their first language is common. Without support and engagement tailored to the individual’s language and culture, communication difficulties and isolation can occur.

Available from the Dementia Australia library


memory weaving_webMemory weaving: an anthology of dementia journeys  /  edited by Carolyn Vimpani  (2014)

The threads of each of our lives are woven to form unique personal memories, our stories.  With the onset of dementia these threads become tangled and frayed forming unfamiliar designs interwoven with strands collected from yesterday’s fragmented recollections and today’s confusing encounters.
If you have or care for someone with dementia, you will find your own experiences in this anthology.  If you want family and friends to understand the journey you and the one you love are making, give them this book!’ (from the cover)

Available from the Dementia Australia library


love-life-loss-v2Love Life Loss – A Roller Coaster of Poetry Volume 2 : Days with Dementia / Kate Swaffer (2016)

“What do you do with a diagnosis of dementia? And especially younger-onset dementia? in this second volume of poetry, Kate Swaffer responds with love, life and torrents of words. Some of the words show loneliness and fear, exclusion, apprehension. But her strong theme is how to be a vigorous involved participant in the world of light, gardens, cats and, above all, people. Her poems affirm ‘believe you can when others say you can’t’. And on behalf of people with dementia, ‘we are all real!’ ‘Like a good red wine or an old red rose’, these poems are full of wisdom, understanding and a view of the world from someone with dementia, living through dementia but also above dementia.” – Emeritus Professor Roly Sussex

Available from the Dementia Australia library


brainisaboundaryThe Brain is a Boundary : A Journey in Poems to the Boundaries of Lewy Body Dementia  /  By Alexander Dreier , Introduction by Arthur G. Zajonc  (2016)

There are many boundaries in consciousness, such as those between waking and sleeping, language and reality, life and death, observer and observed.
Alexander Dreier, an author, poet, comedian and student of human consciousness, was diagnosed with Lewy Body dementia. This unique collection of poems explores crossing boundaries in a brilliant and moving way, recording the author’s journey over the boundary from one existance to another.
The book includes an introduction by Arthur Zajonc, the former President of the Mind-Life Institute.
Available from the Dementia Australia library


articles_finalGaps and spaces: Representations of dementia in contemporary British poetry  /  Hannah Zeilig in Dementia: The international journal of social research and practice, Volume 13, Number 2, March 2014
This article considers the work of a number of contemporary British poets who have attempted to articulate some of the experiences that dementia entails. The unique potential of poetry as a means of portraying the dislocations and reinventions of self that dementia involves has been mostly overlooked. The insights offered by critical gerontology are central to this article. This perspective calls for critical thought about the ways in which dementia has been socially constructed. The challenges posed by poets such as Vuyelwa Carlin, Valerie Laws and Jo Shapcott in particular, are examined. The complex poetic representations offered by these poets acknowledge the pathological declines of dementia and simultaneously celebrate the individuality and life of their subjects. Considering dementia with reference to the work of contemporary poets and critical gerontology is one way in which we can deepen our understanding of what this illness involves and humanise those who suffer from it.
Request from the Dementia Australia library

Healing words: A study of poetry interventions in dementia care / Aagje M.C. Swinnen in Dementia: The international journal of social research and practice,
Vol 15, Issue 6, pp. 1377 – 1404

This article focuses on poetry interventions as one example of cultural arts interventions. The use of poetry might seem counterintuitive, given that people with dementia lose their language abilities and that poetry is regarded to be the most complex literary form. The author argues that expanding on existing research on poetry interventions from a health and science perspective with a humanities approach will help illuminate how poetry works to enhance the exchange with people with dementia. Drawing on participant observations of poetry interventions by Gary Glazner (Alzheimer’s Poetry Project, USA) at the New York Memory Center, the author frames poetry interventions as a specific form of oral poetry in which people with dementia are positioned as cocreators of embodied texts and directly benefit from the power of the spoken word.
Request from the Dementia Australia library

 

2018 LIBRARY digital footer

Fiction and dementia

fiction_banner2018

Stories have been told for as long as we have been able to speak.  The writing and reading of fiction to facilitate the telling and retelling of stories is an important aspect of being human. The enduring appeal of the novel is demonstrated by the place of libraries and bookshops in the community, the flourishing of book groups and the popularity of creative writing courses.
The body of work weaving the topic of dementia into everyday stories continues to grow.
Take a look at some of the standout titles added in 2017 and consider for your summer reading list.

A full list of fiction  held in the Dementia Australia libraries can be found here.


 

rain birdsRain birds  /  Harriet McKnight (2017)
Alan and Pina have lived contentedly in isolated – and insular – Boney Point for thirty years. Now they are dealing with Alan’s devastating early-onset Alzheimer’s diagnosis. As he is cast adrift in the depths of his own mind, Pina is left to face the consequences alone, until the arrival of a flock of black cockatoos seems to tie him, somehow, to the present.

Nearby, conservation biologist Arianna Brandt is involved in a project trying to reintroduce the threatened glossy black cockatoos into the wilds of Murrungowar National Park. Alone in the haunted bush, and with her birds failing to thrive, Arianna’s personal demons start to overwhelm her and risk undoing everything.

At first, when the two women’s paths cross, they appear at loggerheads but – in many ways – they are invested in the same outcome but for different reasons.
Ultimately, unexpected events will force them both to let go of their pasts and focus on the future.

 

gingerbread houseThe gingerbread house  /  Kate Beaufoy  (2017)

Recently-redundant Tess is keen to start work on a novel and needs to make it work. She and her freelance journalist husband Donn desperately need the money and three weeks looking after Donn’s aged mother while the carer takes a break seems like an opportunity to get started. She knows it’ll be tough looking after Eleanor, who has increasingly severe dementia, but she’ll surely find some time for herself, won’t she? Arriving at the isolated country house their daughter Katia has named The Gingerbread House, a tearful Tess begins to realise that she has a far more difficult few weeks ahead than expected. Her mother-in-law is now in need of constant attention and Donn can’t help as he has to stay in town for work. Narrated by Katia – their only child – who prefers not to speak but observes everything, The Gingerbread House is a deeply moving and compassionate story of a family and its tensions and struggles with her grandmother’s dementia, as the reclusive teenager describes the effect it has on everyone in a strangely detached but compassionate way.

 

goodbye vitaminGoodbye, vitamin  /  Rachel Khong (2017)

Ruth is thirty and her life is falling apart: she and her fiancé are moving house, but he’s moving out to live with another woman; her career is going nowhere; and then she learns that her father, a history professor beloved by his students, has Alzheimer’s. At Christmas, her mother begs her to stay on and help. For a year. Goodbye, Vitamin is the wry, beautifully observed story of a woman at a crossroads, as Ruth and her friends attempt to shore up her father’s career; she and her mother obsess over the ambiguous health benefits – in the absence of a cure – of dried jellyfish supplements and vitamin pills; and they all try to forge a new relationship with the brilliant, childlike, irascible man her father has become.


Young adult writing

beforeyouforgetBefore you forget  /  Julia Lawrinson (2017)

Year Twelve is not off to a good start for Amelia. Art is her world, but her art teacher hates everything she does ; her best friend has stopped talking to her ; her mother and father may as well be living in separate houses; and her father is slowly forgetting everything. Even Amelia.

At times funny, at times heartbreaking, this is an ultimately uplifting story about the delicate fabric of family and friendship, and the painful realisation that not everything can remain the same forever.


For the younger readers

grandma_forgets

Grandma forgets  /  Paul Russell and Nicky Johnston.  (2017)

A warm, uplifting picture book about a family bound by love as they cope with their grandmother’s dementia. When your grandmother can’t remember your name it should be sad, but maybe it is just an opportunity to tell her more often how much you love her. Over the years, the little girl has built up a treasure trove of memories of time spent with Grandma: sausages for Sunday lunch, driving in her sky-blue car to the beach, climbing her apple trees while she baked a delicious apple pie, and her comforting hugs during wild storms. But now, Grandma can’t remember those memories. She makes up new rules for old games and often hides Dad’s keys.  This is a warm, hopeful story about a family who sometimes needs to remind their grandmother a little more often than they used to about how much they care.


Past posts highlighting fiction

2017

2016


2018 LIBRARY digital footer

 

Doll, child or animal representational therapy and dementia

dolltherapy_blog_banner

Doll therapy, child representational therapy and animal representational therapy are successful forms of therapy for supporting some people with dementia. It has been found, both anecdotally and clinically,  that these therapies can reduce anxiety and agitation  and have a truly trans-formative effect for some people with dementia, bringing them a sense of purpose, joy and peace.


doll therapy in dementia careDoll Therapy in Dementia Care : Evidence and Practice  /  Mitchell, Gary  (2016)

Advocating doll therapy as an intervention for people with dementia, this book combines theory and evidence to show its many benefits and present guidelines for best-practice. Despite being widely and internationally used, doll therapy is a controversial and often misunderstood intervention. This book debunks the myths surrounding doll therapy, highlighting its proven positive impact on the well-being of people with dementia. The book gives care professionals an indispensable overview of doll therapy within the context of current advocated best practices, using original research and evidence to present the rationale of its use. The book also engages with ethical issues, ensuring that professionals are aware of the aspects of doll-therapy that may be counter-productive to person-centred care. Providing clear guidelines on how best to utilise doll therapy, this comprehensive book is an important resource for any professional looking to implement this intervention.

 


Understanding Behaviour in Dementia that ChallengesUnderstanding behaviour in dementia that challenges  /  Ian Andrew James and Louisa Jackman  (2017)

This revised second edition guide to assessment and treatment of behaviours that challenge associated with dementia includes a chapter on the  Use of therapeutic dolls 

 


 

articles_finalTherapeutic use of dolls for people living with dementia: A critical review of the literature (2016) in Dementia Vol 15, Issue 5

There are a number of therapies currently available to assist healthcare professionals and carers with non-pharmacological treatment for people living with dementia. One such therapy that has been growing in clinical practice is doll therapy. Providing dolls to some people living with dementia has the potential to enhance personal well-being through increased levels of communication and engagement with others. Despite its potential for benefits, the practice is currently under-developed in healthcare literature, probably due to varied ethical interpretations of its practice.
Abstract

Implementation of a baby doll therapy protocol for people with dementia: Innovative practice (2015) in Dementia Vol 14, Issue 5

Dementia is exhibited by both emotional and physical states such as agitation. Chemical restraints, often used for agitated behaviors, are not always effective and produce untoward effects. Baby doll therapy is a nonpharmacologic therapy that can affect agitated behavior in dementia patients, yet a protocol for the therapy did not exist. An implementation protocol for doll therapy for those with dementia was developed and implemented with 16 residents in a dementia care center. Outcomes were measurements of the impact of the dolls on six areas of the resident’s behavior and their reactions to the doll. Participants had an increase in level of happiness, activity/liveliness, interaction with staff and others, and ease of giving care. There was also a reduction in the level of anxiety. The increase in happiness was a statistically significant outcome. Baby doll therapy is an effective nonpharmacological approach for improving the well-being of patients with moderate to severe dementia.
Abstract

The utilization of robotic pets in dementia care (2017) in Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. Vol.55(2) pp. 569-574.

Behavioral problems may affect individuals with dementia, increasing the cost and burden of care. Pet therapy has been known to be emotionally beneficial for many years. Robotic pets have been shown to have similar positive effects without the negative aspects of traditional pets. Robotic pet therapy offers an alternative to traditional pet therapy.
Abstract

Group sessions with Paro in a nursing home: Structure,observations and interviews (2016) in Australasian Journal on Ageing Volume 35, Issue 2 June  pp. 106–112

Observations were conducted focusing on engagement, how residents treated the robot and if the robot acted as a social catalyst. In addition, 16 residents and 21 staff were asked open-ended questions at the end of the study about the sessions and the robot.
This study supports other research showing Paro has psychosocial benefits and provides a guide for those wishing to use Paro in a group setting in aged care.
Abstract

Maria’s baby: a case study  (2016) in Nursing Ethics. Vol.23(6),  pp. 713-716.

Abstract

 

 

Let’s eat – nutrition and dementia

Let's Eat blog

We have to eat; we like to eat; eating makes us feel good.
Ensuring someone with dementia can maintain their enjoyment,  nutritional intake and independence at mealtimes can be complex. This month we look at some resources to assist.

 

helpsheets-aaAlzheimer’s Australia Helpsheets

Read online or download and print the comprehensive information for maintaining enjoyable eating and nutrition.

Eating          Nutrition 

 

 

bestpracticefoodandnutritionmanualBest Practice Food and Nutrition Manual for Aged Care.- 2nd edition (2015)

Section one of the manual includes information
relevant to residents’ nutritional needs and menu
planning guidelines. Included is a menu checklist
and tips on maximising the nutritional content of
the menu items.
Section two addresses the social aspects of
dining by providing ideas to enhance mealtime
atmosphere and mealtime enjoyment.

Download manual

eating-and-drinking-well-supporting-people-living-with-dementia-1-638Eating and Drinking Well: Supporting People Living with Dementia (2017) -training workbook and video

 These training tools are designed to equip frontline nurses and care home staff with the skills needed to improve the delivery of nutrition and hydration for people living with dementia.

 Watch the film                Download the workbook

 

BOOKS

its all about the food         Don't give me eggs that bounce_mm     food and nutrition for people with dementia  practical nutrition

 

  • It’s all about the food not the fork!  /  Morgan-Jones, Peter ,  Greedy, Lisa ,  Ellis, Prudence  &  McIntosh, Danielle  (2016)
    Imagine… you’re not comfortable with cutlery, can’t face a large meal, have reduced appetite, trouble with chewing or swallowing, are always on the move or have other things on your mind—an easy to eat, handheld snack that is high in energy, nutrition and taste will restore dignity and enjoyment to your dining experience. While everyone who loves a snack will enjoy It’s all about the food not the fork, it is a gift of love especially prepared for older people and people with dementia, swallowing difficulties or other disability, as well as carers.
  • Don’t give me eggs that bounce : 118 cracking recipes for people with Alzheimer’s  /  Peter Morgan-Jones, Emily Colombage, Danielle McIntosh, Prudence Ellis.  (2014)
    Australia’s leading aged care chef, Peter Morgan-Jones, has prepared innovative recipes which draw on his extensive international experience, with one recipe even inspired by cooking for a ‘young prince’ at Highgrove House.
  • Food and nutrition for people with dementia  /  Dementia Services Development Centre, University of Stirling  (2009)
    This guide for care workers is designed to raise awareness of the eating and drinking difficulties faced by people with dementia. It provides details of problems likely to be encountered on a daily basis and outlines practical ways to overcome them.
    It shows that, in many cases, a few simple measures – from gaining knowledge of a person’s likes and dislikes and dietary requirements, to making mealtimes and enjoyable experience, can ensure access to good food and drink.
    The guide offers tips to care workers on helping someone with dementia to eat – from how to stay calm and flexible to involving them in meal and snack times – and advises how to maintain the individuality of those receiving care with dignity, respect, empathy and patience.
  • Practical Nutrition and Hydration for Dementia Friendly Mealtimes  /  Lee Martin  (2017)
    In this accessible guide, Lee Martin offers simple, practical and cost-effective solutions to ensure healthy and enjoyable eating for people with dementia. Presenting clinical advice in everyday language, this is the perfect book for unpaid carers and healthcare professionals alike.

 

JOURNAL ARTICLES

Note: should you be interested in any of these articles please request through our handy form.
articles_final

How to manage dysphagia (2017) in Australian Journal of Dementia Care Vol 6 (4) p.21-25
Strategies for carers to support safe swallowing and help people with dementia and dysphagia maintain the pleasures of tasting and eating

Redesigning texture modified foods (2017)  in Australian Journal of Dementia Care Vol 6 (4) p 26-27
LHI Retirement Services in South Australia has improved the mealtime experience for residents with dysphagia by changing the way texture-modified food is presented.
Read Online

 

Engaging mealtimes: a chef’s perspective   (2017) in The Journal of Dementia Care  Jan/Feb  p 18-19
The author discusses suggestions for stimulating the appetite of those with a diminishing interest in food.

 

Food for thought: Facilitating independence with finger foods (2013) in  The Australian Journal of Dementia Care Vol 2(2) p 19-20
Dietician Denise Burbidge discusses finger foods as a flexible, dignified meal option for people with moderate to severe dementia
Read online

 

Residents happy to help themselves (2013)  in The Australian Journal of Dementia Care Vol 2(2) p 21
The introduction of ‘help-yourself’ finger food and a person-centred dining approach has proved a successful addition to daily life at three Scalabrini Village aged care facilities in Sydney and Griffith which support people with dementia.
Rocco Andreacchio and Lauren Kingsbury explain how residents, care staff and families have benefited from the changes.
Read online

 

‘The meals look lovely but mum says the food is tasteless’ (2013) in The Australian Journal of Dementia Care Vol 2(2) p 15-18
Kim Wylie and Monica Nebauer explain how the loss of a person’s sense of taste and/or smell can contribute to under-nutrition in older people and those living with dementia.

 

 

Dance and dementia

dance_banner_v3

Dance has always been a part of cultural rituals and celebrations. But most dancing is about recreation and self-expression and is an enjoyable way to be more physically active. A diagnosis of dementia should not change this.

This blog looks at some of the evidence around the benefits of this activity as well as some supporting resources for incorporating dance into the lives of people living with dementia.

comedancewithmeCome dance with me

Come Dance with Me is a two-hour long workshop  that uses dance to bring joy and stimulate the minds of people with dementia.
Read an interview with workshop facilitator and professional dance artist Tiina Alinen to learn more about creative dance and how it embraces inclusivity.

For more information on this program Beverley Giles showcases Come Dance With Me, and talks about the  failure-free fun where the motto is ‘there is no wrong way only your way’
in The Australian Journal of Dementia Care Vol 6 No 3 June/July 2017 p.19
Note: should you be interested in this article please request it through our handy form.

01AJDCJJ17cover_2The joy and freedom of dance

Gwen Korebrits, Amy Gajjar and Sarah Palmer introduce Dancewise, a movement program suitable for people at all stages of dementia living in care homes
in The Australian Journal of Dementia Care Vol 6 No 3 June/July 2017 p.15-18
available online

 

danceforlifeDance for life : an evaluation of the pilot program (2016)

At the start of this project, the Dance for
Life team was aware of the growing body of
evidence showing the benefits of creative
arts for people living with dementia, but
had no fixed idea of how the project would
take shape. Early questions centered on the stage of
dementia that they might target in selecting
potential participants. Would they aim to
recruit those in early stages of dementia who might be able to learn routines and
follow instructions? Or would they work with those in the later stages with more limited
ability to understand, those who may struggle to communicate verbally and have
limited mobility?  Read the full evaluation

bestofsittingdancesBest of Sitting Dances Kit  (2008)

Best of Sitting Dances is a ‘Life. Be in it’ program encouraging gentle movement to music from a chair sitting position. It is a fun program for people with limited mobility, encouraging participation at all levels from the basic to the flamboyant!
The 13 dances range from slow and rhythmic to faster, more exuberant.
Each dance starts with a visual backdrop to stimulate interest and create the potential for stories, themes, reminiscing and jollity! Also included is a little background information on each dance and tips for leaders.

invitation to the danceInvitation to the dance  /  Heather Hill, Gary King and Ian Cullen  (2009)

This book provides guidance for anyone who would like to help people with dementia move expressively to music. It gives suggestions for approaches, props and music and provides vivid descriptions of the difference that dance can make to people’s wellbeing.
Includes a 6-track CD of music used by the author in her dance therapy sessions with people with dementia.

dance and movement sessionsDance and movement sessions for older people : a handbook for activity organisers and carers  /  Delia Silvester with Susan Frampton.  (2014)

The authors describe the many benefits of dance and movement for older people, and address important practical considerations such as carrying out risk assessments, safety issues, adaptations for specific health conditions and disabilities and how to select appropriate props and music. Step-by-step instructions for 20 dances and movements drawn from a wide range of eras, cultures and traditions are then provided. Ranging from Can Can and Charleston to hand jive, morris dancing, sea shanties and traditional hymns with movements, there is something to suit every mood and occasion.

AJDC_FebMar15Everyone can dance  /  John Killick  (2015)

John Killick is a poet and author who has been exploring the world as seen by people with dementia for two decades. This article is one of a series in which he looks at the role of art, in all its forms, in releasing the creative potential of people with dementia
in Australian Journal of Dementia Care, Vol. 4, No. 1, February/March 2015, p.7-8
Note: should you be interested in this article please request it through our handy form.

SmileandSway_DVDSmile & sway: seated movement program  /  Gina Buber and Ella Charles for the SMILE Program  (2014)

Smile and sway is a fun, low impact seated workout based on the music and style of ballroom and latin dancing. You’ll move to easy to follow choreographed routines to rhythms of Foxtrot, Cha Cha Cha, Tango and more.
more information 

Like to borrow a book or access an article from our library? Information on how

Dementia information sites, social media and apps from Alzheimer’s Australia

Alzheimer’s Australia provides a range of websites that specialise in different aspects of dementia or dementia-related issues. This post has collected all our information sources in a central location for your convenience.

Website: Engage Enable Empower, Alzheimer’s Australia

engageenableempower_website

This website is for people living with dementia

It is possible to live a good quality life with dementia. It is surprising how small changes to lifestyle can lead to better health and well being!

Website: You are not alone: online dementia support and counselling, Alzheimer’s Australia VIC

helpingwdementiawebsite2Alzheimer’s Australia Vic’s online dementia support for people living with dementia, their families and carers

If you or a loved one has dementia and you need information, counselling, support and to connect with others in your situation then this website can help you.

Through this website you can:

  • arrange free online counselling (email or videoconference)
  • learn about dementia
  • connect with others in the same situation as you
  • discover where and how to get help

At Alzheimer’s Australia Vic we know that dementia can affect every area of life for you and your loved ones and that it can be difficult to know what to do. We have staff ready to help. So click, explore and connect to find a better way to live with dementia.

App: Dementia-friendly home, Alzheimer’s Australia Vic

appdemfriendlyThe Dementia-Friendly Home App in now available. Using interactive 3D game technology Unreal Engine, the tablet app provides carers with ideas to make their home more accessible for people living with dementia.

With 70 per cent of people with dementia living in the community, the app enables the home to be made more dementia-friendly. This can allow the person to stay in their own home, enjoy their regular lifestyle activities and remain engaged with their community for longer.

The Dementia-Friendly Home App is now available for iPad from the App Store and Android tablets from the Google Play Store for AU$2.99.

Website: Dementia Research Foundation, Alzheimer’s Australia

dementiaresearchfoundationThe Alzheimer’s Australia Dementia Research Foundation is the research arm of Alzheimer’s Australia and funds talented new and early career Australian dementia researchers. It has information on the latest research on dementia – including studies looking for participants. Those wanting funding for studies can find out more about research grants on offer.

Website: Is It Dementia, Alzheimer’s Australia SA

is_it_dementiaThis educational site includes information relevant to a range of different industries to support identification of possible dementia-related behaviours and assisting people who may have dementia.

Industries covered include: Public Transport; Emergency Services; Retail; Fire; Banking; Correctional Services; Community.

Website: Start2Talk, Alzheimer’s Australia

start2talk_webThis site provides advice on how to plan for the future. It includes advice on planning for different stages of dementia, estate planning, powers of attorney, information for healthcare professionals on how to assist patients with this planning, finances and mechanisms to review plans as things progress.

Website: Dementia Enabling Environments, Alzheimer’s Australia WA

dementia_enabling_environmentsDeveloping an enabling environment for a person living with dementia can make a significant difference to independence, quality of life and wellbeing.

A well designed garden, or an interior planned with cognitive impairment in mind can provide essential prompts, accessibility and reduce risks to support a person with dementia to maintain abilities and take part in meaningful engagement. A poorly designed environment can be at best confusing and disorienting, and at worst disabling and even dangerous for those with dementia.

This Virtual Information Centre provides practical tips, guides and resources to help make the places in which we live more dementia enabling: from simple modifications that anybody can make to their home, to landscaping suggestions and architectural design for dementia care environments.

Website: Detect Early – A resource for healthcare professionals, Alzheimer’s Australia

detectearly1Healthcare professionals – whether in the community or in specialist care settings – are crucial in the early detection of dementia, helping to facilitate early intervention and better patient outcomes.

This site provides a wide range of resources and tools to help detect and manage dementia at the early stages.

For GPs, there’s the GPCOG, a screening tool specially designed for use in general practice,1 as well as educational resources targeted at community healthcare.

For pharmacists, there are tailored educational resources to assist with early intervention, as well as patient-focused materials in our Managing Dementia section.

By detecting dementia early, we can assist people with dementia – and their carers – to plan ahead and make crucial decisions about the future.

Website: Younger Onset Dementia forum: Talk Dementia, Alzheimer’s Australia

talk_dementia_YOD_webThis forum provides a place where younger people with dementia, their families, carers and friends can gather and share information. It provides a place to share your stories, connect with others in a similar situation, ask questions and share information.

Website: Your Brain Matters, Alzheimer’s Australia

YBMwebsite3Research shows you can reduce your risk of developing dementia through Five Simple Steps to maximise brain health. Your Brain Matters™ is Alzheimer’s Australia’s evidence-based dementia risk reduction program. You will learn about the five simple steps to maximise your brain health and get tips on living a brain healthy life to potentially reduce your risk of developing dementia.

Website: Dementia Daily, Alzheimer’s Australia NSW

dementiadaily2 Dementia Daily has up to date research and news, videos for adults and kids on dementia, connects people to online dementia communities and blogs, Help Sheets and more.

Video resources: Alzheimer’s Australia YouTube channel

Video resources: Alzheimer’s Australia Vic YouTube channel

Social Media: Alzheimer’s Australia VIC Facebook page

facebookAAV

Social Media: Alzheimer’s Australia Vic Twitter

twitteraav

Website: FightDementia.org.au, Alzheimer’s Australia

fightdementiawebsiteOur organisational website includes a range of state-specific and national information about dementia-related events, education opportunities, publications and news. Find out about the services available in each Australian state or territory as well as how you can access them. Browse our extensive collection of help sheets to find out more about dementia, watch videos or read a publication. This rich website caters to a range of information needs. Materials such as help sheets are also frequently available in languages other than English.

App: Brainy app, Alzheimer’s Australia

brainyappBrainyApp was developed in 2011 by Alzheimer’s Australia in partnership with Bupa Health Foundation to raise awareness of the risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia, and to help you be brain healthy.

There are more than 353,800 Australians currently living with dementia, with this number set to increase to 900,000 by 2010.

There is something you can do to reduce your risk. Scientific evidence tells us that certain lifestyle and health behaviours, particularly around midlife, are associated with reduced risk of developing dementia in late life. So, look after your brain health to reduce your risk of dementia. It’s never too early or late to start, as brain health can be improved and protected at any age.

BrainyApp is available internationally for Apple and Android devices for FREE. You can download BrainyApp from the Apple and Google app stores.

Or you can use BrainyApp on your computer, at BrainyApp.com.au

Ministering to people with dementia

This post describes our resources on ministering to people with dementia. Should you be interested in any of these resources, you can request them using this handy form.

JDCJulyAug2004Article: Spirituality, religion and faith in dementia care by Malcolm Goldsmith, Journal of Dementia Care 12(4), 2004

Despite the many definitions of ‘spirituality’, there is an increasingly united sense of its importance in dementia care. Malcolm Goldsmith reflects on what religious and spiritual ideas have to offer, and on relations between churches and people with dementia.

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

spirituality and ageingBook: Spirituality and Ageing edited by Albert Jewell, 1999

This book presents the experience of ageing as an opportunity for spiritual reflection and affirmation of life. The contributors are religious and spiritual leaders and ethical thinkers from a range of different backgrounds. They define ‘spirituality’ not just as a religious concept but as the fulfillment of the universal human need for purpose, values and relationships – a sense of wholeness in life. This spiritual dimension helps people face the emotional and psychological challenges of growing older, such as memory loss, dementia, bereavement and fear of death. Existing systems of social care often focus on the material and physical needs of older people; this collection proposes that the spiritual needs for older people are as vital a consideration for their welfare. Through their spirituality, older people can attain a fuller appreciation and understanding of life, which can also inform and enrich the lives of others. Spirituality and Ageing will be an invaluable resource for carers looking for a holistic and more reflective approach to work with other people.

guideministeringalzheimerspatienBook: Guide to Ministering to Alzheimer’s Patients and Their Families, Pat Otwell, 2007

Guide to Ministering to Alzheimer’s Patients and Their Families examines the importance of spirituality in dealing with the everyday challenges of this mysterious disease. Not a “how-to” manual with step-by-step instructions or tried and true formulas, this unique book instead examines the essential elements of ministering to dementia patients based on first-hand accounts of family members living through pain and uncertainty. The book explores the nature and stages of Alzheimer’s: the desire to minister; theological understanding; grief and guilt; communicating with Alzheimer’s patients; spiritual needs and implications for spiritual care; ethical issues and the role of ministry in decision-making; models for ministry; faith, hope, and love; blessings; and resources. This book is designed for all who desire to minister to those affected by Alzheimer’s – especially pastors, priests, chaplains, pastoral counselors, church leaders, healthcare professionals, and seminary students.

JDCMayJune2003Article: Holding a religious service for people with dementia by Patricia Higgins, Journal of Dementia Care 11(3), May/June 2003

Patricia Higgins looks at how holding a religious ceremony can enrich life and well-being for people with dementia.

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

ministeringpeoplewdementiaGuide: Ministering to people with dementia: a pastoral guide, Catholic Health Australia, 2008

inistering to People with Dementia: A Pastoral Guide , produced by Catholic Health Australia in cooperation with Alzheimer’s Australia is a practical handbook for the spiritual care of people with dementia. The Guide has been written expressly for those working in parish settings to assist in the provision of spiritual care of parishioners with dementia both at home and in residential care within the local community.

inastrangelandBook: In a strange land… : people with dementia and the local church : a guide and encouragement for ministry, Malcolm Goldsmith, 2004

About one person in twenty over the age of sixty-five and about one in five over the age of eighty have dementia. These people will have spouses, partners, children, relatives and friends. It is likely therefore that just about every church congregation and community will have a number of people affected, directly or indirectly, by dementia.

    • How do clergy and lay leaders, members of the congregation and others understand, relate to and support these people?
    • What happens to the faith of people with dementia? How do their carers cope with faith issues?
    • What happens when people move into residential or nursing homes or into hospital? What forms of ministry are appropriate?

This book, written by someone who has spent many years as a parish priest is full of reflections and suggestions. It is an attempt to guide and encourage people in this important but often neglected area of ministry.

Spirituality the heart of nursingBook: Spirituality : the heart of nursing edited by Professor Susan Ronaldson, foreword by Professor Mary Bailey, 1997

People in many cultures have long been aware of themselves as having a spirit as well as body and as being influenced by spiritual energies and spiritual presences.

Nurses know that something exists beyond the day-to-day care of people. Nurses are with people in time of crisis, when the mind turns to thoughts of what exists beyond. When a nurse can help someone to confront issues of doubt and belief, the sense of fulfillment explains why nurses do what they do.

This is a book to pick up and delve into. The chapters are written by experienced nurses in a style and language that is easy to understand. Here you will find knowledge and ideas that may help you make your own spiritual journey as well as helping people in your care to make theirs.

Spirituality:The Heart of Nursing is written by Australia nurses, from their own experience, for the benefit of other nurses. The message of the book is that nurses are special people conscious that our spiritual well-being is just as important as our physical health.