Why do you keep talking to me? What do you want? I don’t understand what you are saying.
This is what can go through the mind of someone living with dementia as they try navigating the confusing, and often frustrating, thoughts and emotions swirling around their failing mind.
To better understand dementia and to learn how to best communicate and encourage people affected by the disease, staff at Ipswich’s Carinity Colthup Manor are undertaking dementia-focused training.
Nurses and carers who support residents with dementia in the aged care community’s memory assisted area are completing courses from Dementia Australia and the Wicking Dementia Centre, through the University of Tasmania.
Speaking during Dementia Action Week, 21 -27 September, Carinity Colthup Manor residential manager Jo King says it is important her team members be skilled in understanding the complexities of dementia, including conditions such as Alzheimer’s.
“Dementia is one of the most prevalent conditions to affect older members of the community, so it is important our care staff be skilled in understanding the complexities of dementia,” Ms King says.
“The carers at Carinity Colthup Manor are keen to expand their knowledge in being able to provide the best care possible for residents living with dementia.
“Our carers strive to learn more not only about the physiology of dementia but develop interventions to prevent adverse behaviours in people living with the condition.
“Knowing how to communicate effectively with people affected by dementia means Carinity can better support seniors in the activities of daily living and in activities that bring enjoyment to their lives.”
Dementia Australia chief executive Maree McCabe told the Royal Commission into Aged Care that 70 per cent of the aged care workforce has not received any training about caring for older residents experiencing dementia and it not mandatory.
“With 50 per cent of all those in residential aged care having a diagnosis of dementia, almost every worker across the country is involved in caring for people impacted by dementia,” Ms McCabe said.
“Any organisation that takes on the care of a person living with dementia must commit to training their staff to ensure they are delivering quality dementia care.”