Home' Australian Ageing Agenda : AAA Spt-Oct 2015 Contents Vanda Iaconese
Dr Lyn Phillipson
DESPITE THE high needs and demands of
caring of somebody with dementia, carers
of people with dementia are relatively low
users of respite services, according to Dr Lyn
Phillipson, associate director of the Centre for
Health Initiatives at University of Wollongong.
"This is despite the fact that when we
survey them, they constantly tell us that
respite is one of their critical needs," she said.
Phillipson was speaking to Australian
Ageing Agenda ahead of her presentation at
the Living Well, Dying Well forum to be hosted
by BaptistCare in September.
Phillipson will discuss the barriers currently
preventing some caregivers from accessing
respite care at the forum, which is aimed at
helping service providers across Australia
improve the quality of care provided to people
"Respite is really important for both the
carer and the person for dementia in the
context of a life that can become, for some
people, socially isolated and quite limited in
terms of opportunities to continue with other
activities and interests," said Dr Phillipson.
Phillipson's research has looked at
attitudes of carers towards dementia services
and ways to improve engagement. She hopes
to encourage attendees at the
forum to think about their respite
services from the perspective of the
Through her research, she has
highlighted key five areas in which
carers want respite to be more
flexible: the location of services;
the timing of when services could
be provided; the activities available
during respite; staffing issues; and
how funding could be used.
With regards to location, she said many
carers wanted respite options that matched
the needs and wants of the person with
dementia; some may prefer to stay at home,
while others, such as those who are social,
may enjoy an outing or stay at a day centre.
Phillipson said that during her research,
people with dementia and their carers had
talked to her about the need for meaningful
and purposeful activities. Respite care should
be designed around this, and that it was
unreasonable to expect each person in respite
care to enjoy doing the same activities, she said.
During respite sessions, many carers
had a preference for the same staff to attend
to the person with dementia each time, so
there was a chance to build a
relationship and trust.
Timing was also a key issue, for
both short-term and more extended
periods of care.
"For the carer, the critical thing
might be when they want that
respite. Maybe they've not been
able to go to their book club and
it meets in the evenings, but the
respite service is only provided in
the day," she said.
Phillipson said her talk would also
encourage respite providers to think about the
way they promoted their services, to help dispel
some of the stigma that some carers may have
about respite, such as that it was only an option
for when they were no longer coping well.
"A lot of carers have that real sense of duty
that this is their job, and that if they're good
spouse or a good child, then they'll be able to
provide the care," said Phillipson.
"What we really want to say is actually,
respite use is good for you and good for the
person with dementia, especially if you use it
early and use it frequently." n
Living Well, Dying Well takes place at
Sydney Olympic Park on 14 September.
Providers need to consider barriers
to respite use by carers
More flexible service offerings would encourage the greater
uptake of respite services by caregivers of those with dementia,
an upcoming dementia forum will hear, writes Jackie Keast.
Changed purchasing led to savings
This not-for-profit aged care provider will tell an upcoming
procurement conference that an overhaul of processes delivered
the efficiencies that will help it meet its mission, writes
FINANCIAL SAVINGS coupled with improved budgeting,
and a better overall picture of the organisation's
expenditure are among the benefits a not-for-profit aged
care provider has seen following a review and revamp of
its procurement processes.
Doutta Galla Aged Services said that in order to achieve
its mission, it had to ensure all facets of the business
were running efficiently, and a review of its procurement
found that processes had evolved over time and were
inconsistent across its eight residential facilities.
The review revealed fragmented buying habits, various
facilities "reinventing the wheel and duplicating each other's
work" and too much time being spent obtaining quotes from
various suppliers, according to CEO Vanda Iaconese.
The provider had inconsistent pricing for facilities using
the same supplier, poor ordering habits with overstocking or
understocking, and too many people involved in purchasing
with no central management systems and controls, the
"The review highlighted opportunities for improvements in
containing costs and ensuring quality of supply, in regulatory
compliance, purchasing transparency and governance,
coordinated purchasing and improved prices from suppliers,"
62 | SEPTEMBER -- OCTOBER 2015 | AAA
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