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Let’s Talk Dementia – Q & A

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If you or someone you know has a diagnosis of dementia, you’re likely to have a lot of questions. Hear from real people who had questions of their own, and read how our specialist staff answered them.

Q: “A friend of mine is 46 and has just received a diagnosis of dementia. Although I had noticed some changes over a period of months, the diagnosis came as a shock to all of us, including her of course. There have been some changes in her behaviour and outlook that are making it hard to relate to her. I’m now finding it hard to talk to her, and don’t know how to support her through this. Do you have any ideas about what I could do that is best for my friend?”

A: The diagnosis of any illness in a friend is a traumatic time for all involved, particularly when it is unexpected. We’re just starting to learn more about dementia in younger people (known as younger onset dementia) and how it impacts them and the people around them.
What we know so far is that the biggest impact is the loss of networks – many people with this diagnosis can no longer work, or fulfil the roles that they used to, and this can make them feel isolated and that they are a burden on their family and friends. There are also the practical implications of the person’s personality changing to some extent, which can affect relationships.
Remaining socially active & connected is very important in managing dementia symptoms, so the best thing you can do is to let your friend know that you are there for her, spend time with her and support her with other responsibilities such as caring for children or getting to medical appointments.

ACH Group has experience in supporting people living with younger onset dementia, helping them to maintain or rebuild relationships. We are currently running a golf group, art group and can tailor any services to suit. We are registered for NDIS and we’d be happy to discuss options with your friend – call us on 1300 22 44 77.

Q: “How would your staff deal with a resident who has behavioural issues due to dementia? If they’ve paid their money for the accommodation but their deteriorating behaviour is putting other residents/staff at risk, what can be done?

A: ACH Group has long been leaders in supporting people living with dementia, and as the number of people living with dementia in residential care is growing, this continues to be an important focus for us.

We pay a lot of attention to training staff to deal with issues arising from the symptoms of dementia, and have a dedicated team that supports our staff to do this. It is important to be aware of what may trigger some behaviours; avoiding them if possible, or having detailed strategies to manage them should they occur.

In our residential homes a dementia consultant is available to implement behaviour management plans and provide the staff with “on the floor” coaching and mentoring to ensure the plan is implemented and communicated effectively. We also ensure that external services that specialise in dementia care are involved, to ensures that we have provided a holistic approach to behaviour management to achieve positive outcomes for the person living with dementia.

Knowing WHO the person is remains a strong focus for staff who are encouraged to find out for themselves, as this is the basis for person centred care and is the foundation for individualised behaviour management care plans to be implemented.

As well as dementia experts on staff who have specialist knowledge and skills to support people living with dementia, all of our residential care homes adopt a Healthy Ageing approach, encouraging residents to remain as active and independent for as long as possible.  ACH Group’s innovative approach to dementia care includes the Hen Power creative ageing program, exercise to music, art classes and social connections.

We also find that the environment can have a large impact, so ensuring they are in a calm setting is vital, as well supporting them to have a role and make a contribution, participate in meaningful activities, and be social. It really does all come down to training staff, effective policies and procedures, and careful monitoring as to the most effective strategies.

Find out more about dementia support in our residential care homes by listening to a Podcast featuring ACH Group Dementia Consultant Jodie Roberts. Listen here.

Q: “My mum is getting increasingly forgetful and sometimes confused. How do I know if she has dementia or it’s just a normal part of ageing? “

A: There are a lot of causes of memory loss which can be treated and need to be investigated and eliminated first before a diagnosis of dementia is even considered. It is advisable that you and your mum organise a consultation with her GP to discuss symptoms and a treatment plan.

A diagnosis of dementia can open up the opportunity to consider treatment options which may be available,  gain information in how to live well with dementia,  educate family members and the person with the diagnosis in how to manage these changes and make adaptions to their lifestyle and plan for the future. This can  include getting legal documents called Advance Directives in place to assist in appointing people you trust to make future decisions about your money, health, lifestyle and end of life matters.

ACH Group also has a designated Dementia Specialist Advisory Service. If you are interested in a personal consultation phone us on 1300 22 44 77 to speak with Teresa or Katrina.

Other services that you may be interested in:

Concerned about a family member who has dementia or memory loss? Worried about your own memory?

ACH Group’s Dementia Specialist Advisory Service can help. You can have confidence in our experienced and highly skilled professionals who will support you, your family member or friend. Click here to find out more.

ACH Group’s Brain Health Advisory Service can help you with tips for staying healthy and reducing your dementia risk, advice on how to make the most of your memory, personalised recommendations to improved brain health, planning for the future and so much more. Click here to find out more details.

If you need help getting started and documenting your wishes formally in a legal document, our Planning Ahead Advisory Service team can help. Our team can help you understand and set up an Advance Care Directive and Enduring Power of Attorney to ensure peace of mind for you and your family. Click here to find out more.

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Information Guide

Good Lives

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3 days ago
ACH Group

Congratulations to Support Worker, Nikki who this week received her 20 year Service Award from ACH Group!

Currently working with home care customers in the east of Adelaide, Nikki says " I love my job! What motivates me to come to work every day is knowing that I can support customers and make a difference in their lives. I also have a very supportive team which makes my job easier."

Pictured below with Service Delivery Team Leader East, Mel. On behalf of everyone at ACH Group, thank you Nikki for all your hard work and dedication in supporting older people to live good lives.
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Congratulations to Support Worker, Nikki who this week received her 20 year Service Award from ACH Group!

Currently working with home care customers in the east of Adelaide, Nikki says  I love my job! What motivates me to come to work every day is knowing that I can support customers and make a difference in their lives. I also have a very supportive team which makes my job easier.

Pictured below with Service Delivery Team Leader East, Mel. On behalf of everyone at ACH Group, thank you Nikki for all your hard work and dedication in supporting older people to live good lives.

Comment on Facebook

Congratulations Nikki 🎉

Congratulations Nic well done you legend

Congratulations Nick xx

Congratulations!! Awesome contribution. To another 10 years xx

Wow Nikki, ACH Group are very fortunate to have you. 20 years is an amazing contribution!

Congratulations, that’s fantastic xxoo

Congratulations Nick xx

Congratulations Nicola ❤️

Well done 20yrs congratulations

Congratulations Nikki

Congratulations Nikki

Congratulations Nikki. I know your hard work is much appreciated

Well done dear daughter.x

Thanx everyone

Whoo hoo…how much you get?

Well done !

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3 days ago
ACH Group

Resident Profile - Meet Petrie

Petrie has lived and travelled around Australia and overseas much of her life. Petrie was living in Holland before coming back to Australia again a few years ago to be close to her family here again. Petrie had been used to living in big houses with gardens but also in high-rise and apartment buildings in many different cities. She was very pleased to discover a similar apartment lifestyle option for her retirement when coming back to Adelaide. When she found Spence on Light, she fell in love with everything it offers: the cosmopolitan location, the beautiful sunset views from her balcony, the contemporary design of the apartment and friendly neighbours.

Petrie added “I don’t like traffic and I am used to good public transport, so this suits my lifestyle and not needing a car. I’m still working part time for myself and for the University of Adelaide which is walking distance. As I live on the top floor of Spence on Light, I feel as if I now have my own little penthouse.”

Petrie loves having easy access to all that Adelaide CBD has to offer culturally, plus the social interaction with other residents, but also enjoys her own space. She said “The beauty of living in an apartment is that you can be apart when you want to be. It’s so private and yet secure here!”
... See MoreSee Less

Resident Profile - Meet Petrie 

Petrie has lived and travelled around Australia and overseas much of her life. Petrie was living in Holland before coming back to Australia again a few years ago to be close to her family here again. Petrie had been used to living in big houses with gardens but also in high-rise and apartment buildings in many different cities. She was very pleased to discover a similar apartment lifestyle option for her retirement when coming back to Adelaide. When she found Spence on Light, she fell in love with everything it offers: the cosmopolitan location, the beautiful sunset views from her balcony, the contemporary design of the apartment and friendly neighbours. 

Petrie added “I don’t like traffic and I am used to good public transport, so this suits my lifestyle and not needing a car. I’m still working part time for myself and for the University of Adelaide which is walking distance. As I live on the top floor of Spence on Light, I feel as if I now have my own little penthouse.” 

Petrie loves having easy access to all that Adelaide CBD has to offer culturally, plus the social interaction with other residents, but also enjoys her own space. She said “The beauty of living in an apartment is that you can be apart when you want to be. It’s so private and yet secure here!”
5 days ago
ACH Group

Located in the middle of McLaren Vale and surrounded by vineyards, ACH Group's Colton Court residential care home offers a welcoming and community feel where you can continue to live well. The cottages at Colton Court enable residents to live an almost independent life with their own living area, kitchen, bathroom, separate laundry and a private garden.

The highly qualified team of specialists including nurses, podiatrists, allied health professionals, speech pathologists, and dietitians offer individualised care to residents. With a focus on healthy ageing, there are plenty of social and wellbeing activities such as intergenerational programs with the local schools and kindergartens, book club, and singing.

Learn more: achgroup.org.au/location/mclaren-vale-residential-care-home/
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