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Shining a light on dementia care after dark


Best practice strategies for caring for a person with dementia at night time is the focus of a new guide for formal and informal carers.

Night-time care: A practice guide, has been written by Diana Kerr and Associate Professor Colm Cunningham, internationally recognised experts in the field of dementia and night-time care.

The book provides practical information and advice to provide effective care at night in a range of settings including residential aged care, community respite and in a person’s own home.

Associate Professor Cunningham, director of HammondCare’s Dementia Centre, said this area of dementia care was often poorly understood and recognised.

“Providing support and care for an older person or a person with dementia happens 24 hours a day, yet most strategies and advice are targeted for day time only.

“Night staff need to be given the right tools if they are going to provide informed, skilful, person-centred and holistic care that is thorough and consistently good. This guide is about providing night staff and managers with the knowledge and skills to achieve this.”

Diana Kerr is associate consultant with the Dementia Centre with more than 30 years’ experience as a trainer, practitioner and educator in aged care.

“In the still of the night, time changes. The anchors and cues for the daytime are gone and the night-time ticks away slowly. This can be an unsettling time for all residents but for people with dementia this stillness and emptiness can be particularly frightening and disorientating,” Ms Kerr said.

Night-time care: A practice guide can be used as a companion resource to Diana Kerr and Heather Wilkinson’s Providing Good Care at Night for Older People.

For more information on the resource click here

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