What is dementia: our care approach
What is dementia?
“Dementia describes a collection of symptoms that are caused by disorders affecting the brain. It is not one specific disease… dementia affects thinking, behaviour and the ability to perform everyday tasks. Brain function is affected enough to interfere with the person’s normal social or working life.”
According to Dementia Australia, over 450,000 Australians are currently living with dementia, with approximately 1,300 individuals developing dementia in Australia every week.
Dementia can have significant psychological, emotional, practical and social impacts on an individual. Effects of dementia can include the loss of confidence, self-esteem, relationships, everyday skills, autonomy and independence.
Experiences of dementia differ from person to person. However, the most common symptoms are:
- Memory loss that affects day-to-day function
- Confusion about time and place
- Difficulty performing familiar tasks
- Changes in personality or behaviour
- Language problems
- Apathy and withdrawal
These symptoms are as unique as the individual – their onset vary from person to person. Some start with confusion, others with memory loss, and some will struggle with language and be unable to string together the correct words either when speaking or writing.
As with all aspects of Japara, our understanding and approach to caring for people with dementia is all about respect. We believe that our residents with dementia are more than just their condition. That’s why we look beyond dementia to get to know our residents and what allows them to flourish.
As no individual living with dementia is the same, we go to great lengths to bring happiness and dignity to our residents in ways that are exclusive to them. We ensure that all Japara homes are dementia-friendly and that they strive for the highest level of dementia support.
There are seven fundamental principles that underpin our approach to dementia:
- Support is person-centred and holistic – a focus on personal choice and values are paramount and our residents’ hopes, and aspirations will be understood and supported.
- Our homes are designed and redeveloped to ensure they promote optimal independence and quality of life in a smaller, more intimate, personalised, home-like environment that is also integrated with the local community.
- A focus on our residents’ abilities, not disabilities, is utilised to provide support to residents. This is also called a strengths-based methodology.
- Our homes use a wellness and restorative approach to enhance each resident’s physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing.
- Technology, resources and advancements are used to support autonomy, social connections, minimise risk, and promote meaningful and purposeful lives for residents.
- Lifestyle opportunities and choices of our residents will be supported by all staff members, 24-hours a day.
- A workforce culture and capacity to be innovative, progressive and prepared to challenge the status quo of traditional aged care environments and practice.
At Japara, we aspire to be the leaders in specialised dementia care. Our aim is to provide supportive environments that enable residents with dementia to enjoy active, meaningful and purposeful lives. Our approach can be summarised as “living life as usual in home-like environments”. We believe that life doesn’t stop when dementia starts.
If you have a loved one living with dementia and are interested in the aged care services available at Japara, contact us to arrange a one-on-one chat with a member of our clinical team or to book a tour on 1800 52 72 72.