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Caring for Someone with Dementia

Caring for someone with dementia can be difficult and, at times, overwhelming. Many organisations provide services for people with dementia and for their families and carers.

Where can I get information about dementia?

It is best to find out about dementia and the immediate help available as soon as a diagnosis is made.

Dementia Australia in each State and Territory can help you understand what is happening and can provide emotional support, information, advice and counselling. You can contact them directly on the National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500.

Where can I find help?

There are a large number of support groups throughout Australia for people with dementia, and for their families and carers. Many people gain enormous comfort and practical assistance from attending these meetings with others who share similar experiences.

Carer support groups bring together carers, relatives and friends of people with dementia on a regular basis under the guidance of a group facilitator. This is usually a health care professional or someone with first-hand experience of caring for a family member. There is no charge for attending. To find the location of your nearest support group, contact the National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500.

Counselling

Dementia Australia provides a free specialist counselling service for people with dementia, family members and carers. This provides the opportunity to talk through emotional, practical and family issues in confidence.

Health services

These services will also offer help and support:

Your family doctor — only a medical practitioner can make a diagnosis of dementia. The family doctor is often the first person that people talk to about their concerns. A doctor may assess the person for dementia and can refer them to a specialist. The family doctor will most likely be the main health professional providing ongoing health care for both the person with dementia and their family member.

Cognitive Dementia and Memory Services (CDAMS) — these specialised services provide expert assessment and diagnosis to people with memory loss or changes to their thinking. The family doctor can refer a person to CDAMS, or CDAMS can be contacted directly where there are concerns about cognitive impairment.

My Aged Care – The Australian Government’s My Aged Care phone line and website can help you to find information on different services available for a person with cognitive impairment and is the point of entry for Government subsidised aged care support. You can call the My Aged Care contact centre on 1800 200 422 or go to their website at www.myagedcare.gov.au to make an enquiry. When you call, you will speak with a customer representative who will ask a series of questions in order to find the best care option for the person with cognitive impairment. They may refer you to the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT). ACATs are health care professionals in the area of seniors care who are responsible for deciding who is eligible for Government subsidised aged care support

Other health services – such as physiotherapy, podiatry, speech and occupational therapy are available to assist people with dementia and to advise their carers.

What services does Cranbrook Care provide for people living with dementia?

Cranbrook Care’s residences provide secure dementia specific care areas which are specially designed for people living with dementia. Our experienced care staff are specially trained in dementia care and actively work towards providing person centred care to improve the quality of life for people living with dementia and their families. The Leisure & Lifestyle team have designed a dementia specific activities program which includes games, crafts, daily exercises and supervised outings which aims to enrich the lives of our dementia residents.

Secure garden areas are accessible to dementia residents which encourages exercise and provides stimulation. Sensory gardens have been designed to provide smells and texture that stimulate the residents’ senses and promote meaningful activities. As always the needs of our dementia residents are met with compassion and respect.

Any other questions?

If you have any other questions relating to dementia care offered by Cranbrook Care, please speak to our Client Relations Manager.

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