Dementia Champions helping create real change

Since the introduction of an innovative role, change has been noticeable.

One of the key ideas that Dementia Strategist Ben Gatehouse has implemented at Japara since joining has been the role of Dementia Champion.

Dementia champions are responsible for ensuring that their home is doing everything possible to help create an environment in which those living with dementia can do so with the best quality of life available to them.

Ben says that it is clear to see why those who volunteered to become champions did so.
“It has become apparent very quickly that our Dementia Champions had been nominated because they are people who are highly enthusiastic and energised to continually improve the quality of life of our residents living with dementia.”

“They are now questioning the status quo of how we support our residents living with dementia and are actively shifting towards our wellness and positive ageing approach which maximises choice and lifestyle activities.”

He says that this is done in a variety of ways. “Many of our homes celebrated Dementia Awareness month in September and World Alzheimer’s day with significant education and positive and healthy brain activities taking place.”

This education and activities have been driven by Ben and the individual dementia champions at the home.

Examples of these activities include:

  • A sensory afternoon and MP3 personalised music at Scottvale to specifically support residents living with dementia who are likely to experience complex behaviours.
  • A brain gym which now operates at Roccoco, in St Albans park, to support sustained cognitive functioning and socialisation levels.
  • An optional month long pedometer program at Elanora in Brighton, Victoria , encouraging residents living with Dementia to continue to be active by walking every day.
  • A brain gym, physical gym, and sensory room at our Riverside Views home, to support cognitive functions and improve physical health of residents.

This is just the tip of the iceberg for Japara in relation to advancing care for residents living with Dementia. It is fantastic to see these wonderful initiatives taking place, and the success that has come from them. Look out for further Dementia Champion related news in coming editions.

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