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Dementia a focus of exchange

ach group volunteers posing for photo

A group of aged care workers from Sun-Vision Social Welfare Corporation in Japan will spend a week in South Australia learning about the latest in dementia care, prevention and understanding as part of an exchange with not-for-profit aged care provider ACH Group.

The group of 11, including social workers, care workers, team leaders and unit leaders, will focus on innovation and the latest thinking on brain health ahead of Sun-Vision Social Welfare Corporation’s international symposium on dementia care next year.

Sun-Vision Coordinator Tomoko Suzuki said the group was interested in ACH Group’s Planning Ahead Advisory Service which supported people to complete an Advance Care Directive and Enduring Power of Attorney. “We would like to learn how ACH Group supports people living with dementia who have difficulties communicating their decisions, will and preferences,” she says.

Welcoming the group, ACH Group CEO said: “For over a decade we’ve exchanged ‘students’ to learn about aged care from different cultures and perspectives and share best practice developments. A key learning has been our shared passion for working with older people to support them to have their best life.”

The group will hear about ACH Group’s strategies to reduce employee turnover, innovation in mobility and independent living equipment and focus on early intervention to improve health outcomes. They will also learn about ACH Group’s holistic approach to physical, mental and cognitive health at each of its residential care homes to help residents continue to live healthier, happier and more active lives.

During the week the group will participate in a range of activities that are of benefit to people living with dementia including a mosaics and tai chi class at Colton Court, McLaren Vale and will participate in a dementia master class with dementia expert Teresa Moran at ViTA, Daw Park. The exchange will wrap up with a visit to South Australian attractions Gorge Wildlife Park and Beerenberg Farm at Hahndorf.

In its 12th year, the Sun-Life exchange program involves annual visits to Australia and bi-annual visits by ACH Group employees to Japan.

A delegation from ACH Group who travelled to Japan in October as part of the exchange will help as hosts and translators on this visit.