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PARTICIPANTS ARE required for
an innovative research project at
HammondCare's newly opened
specialist dementia care site at
Miranda, in the Sutherland Shire
in Sydney's south.
Funded by the Commonwealth
Department of Health and Ageing,
the 'Going to Stay at Home' study
is looking at the impact that an
intensive week-long residential
training program for people with
dementia and their carers can
have on the longer term ability for
the couple to remain at home.
Program coordinator, Julie
Paterson, said the live-in training
program was for people with
a diagnosis of dementia, who
were living at home and had a
Ms Paterson said the
program will be particularly good
for people who have recently
received a diagnosis of dementia
and have limited access to
dementia support groups due to
cultural or geographical factors.
And, she added, there is
no set exclusion criteria for
participant involvement and
anyone can nominate.
"It is available for 100 couples
and is running between March and
October 2013 in weekly groups of
six couples," said Ms Paterson.
"It will take place in a brand
new eight bedroom dementia care
cottage at the new Miranda site.
will be accommodated in a
bedroom with a private ensuite,
while HammondCare's trained
dementia care staff will provide
all meals and support, making it
easier for the carer to participate
in the program."
The person with dementia will
also enjoy a program of "pleasant
activities", including brain
training exercises, while meals
and recreational times are spent
together with their loved ones.
Ms Paterson said the program
was designed to equip carers
with information, advice and
useful strategies on a variety of
topics with the aim of reducing
carer stress and assisting the
person with dementia to remain in
their own homes for longer.
"We will cover of course all the
facts about dementia, different
types of dementia and what to
expect over time from a range of
"There is a future planning
session -- thinking about possible
scenarios and planning for that.
What if something happens to
me and I need to go to hospital?
We talk about legal issues,
guardianship, financial planning;
and quite practical things - one
session is a demonstration of
online shopping, for instance.
"There are nursing topics
-- including the 'scary' things
-- dealing with emotional
issues and feelings; coping
strategies; therapeutic activities,
communication skills and how to
develop support networks. And
always is context of maintaining
the person's dignity and sense of
Ms Paterson said an
important area of the program
addressed what they have called
"How do you learn to take on
new roles like cooking or driving
or bill paying, for example?
"And the vital importance of
carers caring for themselves."
She said it was the aim of
the program to try to ensure that
there are commonalities between
"We would like to cluster
the groups around something
they have in common, like
being from a common location
or geographical area, having a
similar cultural background, or
perhaps they are dealing with a
similar type of dementia, such as
younger onset dementia.
"When there are these
common backgrounds and
experiences, it enables us to
tailor the program and provide
information that is really specific
and relevant to those geographical
areas or particular groups.
"One of the sessions is using
community services effectively
and that's where it really helps
if you can make it tailored to a
"The ideal will be to get
each group to bond and to take
their support network beyond
the program, and keep it going
Referrals are open now. For
more information, email Julie
Paterson at gtsah@hammond.
com.au or call on 0406 429 640.
New live-in training
for dementia carers
program will take
place at the new
Miranda site (NSW)
By Keryn Curtis
6 | MARCH--APRIL2013 | AAA
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