News digest

Victorian provider seeks global insights; dementia nurse service expands; advance care planning campaign launched; forum puts focus on dementia.

In this story:
  • Victorian provider seeks global insights
  • Dementia nurse service expands
  • Community initiative spawns sensory garden
  • ACT launches advance care planning campaign
  • Forum puts focus on dementia
  • Experts discuss cultural diversity and ageing
Victorian provider seeks global insights

Southern Cross Care (Vic) has launched a cross-cultural exchange program with the Changchun Medical University and Be Loved Nursing Home in China, as part of the organisation’s 45th birthday celebrations.

Eight staff, comprising care workers, nurses and managers from the organisation’s residential and community services, are spending two weeks with the Chinese providers in Changchun to gain insights into aged care there.

Deputy CEO Ian Barton said the exchange program was being offered as a scholarship for staff to gain experience and knowledge in aged care from a more global perspective.

“Our partnership with the Chinese providers is a fantastic opportunity not only for our staff, but also for our organisation to know how to better provide services in future to people from a multicultural background, and in particular those from a Chinese background,” he said.

SCCV has eight aged care facilities across Victoria and has a large Chinese presence at its Springvale home in the metropolitan area.

“From this exchange program, we hope to share SCCV’s best practice Australian experience aimed at improving the standard of care and support that Changchun Medical University and Be Loved Nursing Home provide to older people in China and to those living with dementia,” said Mr Barton.

Dementia nurse service expands
Amana Living's CEO Ray Glickman
Ray Glickman

Western Australian provider Amana Living has expanded its McCusker Nurse Service, which provides support for the carers of those living with dementia.

However the provider said that demand far outweighs the capacity of the service, despite doubling its reach this year, and funding is desperately needed for a network of nurses across the country.

“Demand for the McCusker Nurse Service in the southern region of Perth alone is projected to top 13,000 by 2018,” said Amana Living CEO Ray Glickman.

“We are thrilled to be able to appoint the McCusker Nurse South, and to build on the experience gained in the northern suburbs. While the capacity of one nurse doesn’t stretch to anywhere near 13,000, this will go some way to alleviate crises for more carers.”

The McCusker Nurse is a dementia expert, who can help carers and families understand the condition and navigate the support options available to them at any stage in the illness.

Importantly, the service also aims to promote wellbeing and enhance quality of life for both carer and the person living with dementia.

The first of its kind in Australia, the McCusker Nurse Service was developed by Amana Living with funding by the McCusker Charitable Foundation.

Community initiative spawns sensory garden
Sensory garden, Woodlands
Sensory garden at Blue Care Woodlands

The use of sensory gardens in residential aged care continues to spread with Blue Care recently unveiling a garden at its Woodlands Aged Care Facility at Arundel on the Gold Coast.

Blue Care Woodlands diversional therapist Shirley Irvine said the gardens were for the enjoyment of residents, staff and visitors, and may particularly benefit people living with dementia.

“As research shows, sensory gardens can be effective in reducing anxiety and improving the mood and physical health of people living with dementia,” she said.

A community initiative, the garden was funded and constructed by the Rotary Club of Hope Island. Professional Turf & Gardens supplied the soil and Bunnings Warehouse Arundel also supported the project by discounting garden items, including a gazebo, and donating their time to erect it in the garden.

ACT launches advance care planning campaign
The ACT's advance care planning campaign
The ACT’s advance care planning campaign

Following in the footsteps of other state governments, the ACT recently launched a public awareness campaign about the importance of advance care planning.

Run by ACT Medicare Locals, the Be My Voice campaign aims to help family and friends initiate conversations about their values and wishes around future healthcare.

TV and print advertisements form part of the campaign, and through the campaign website the public can view a range of advance care planning resources and book an information session.

The ACT initiative follows campaigns in other states. As Australian Ageing Agenda reported last year, the NSW Government last year launched its Black and White campaign.

Forum puts focus on dementia 

Community Care (Northern Beaches) (CCNB) together with Alzheimer’s Australia, Anglicare and Sydney Local Health District are providing a one-day forum on dementia called ‘Spotlight on Dementia.’

Being held next Thursday 29 May, the forum will include the latest research on healthy brain ageing, an update on the younger onset dementia key worker program and information about a new website called start2talk.

Marie Williams, author of Green Vanilla Tea, a book about caring for her husband who developed dementia in his 40sm will speak at the forum.

The one-day forum is free for carers and $50 per person for service providers.

Click here for more information, or phone Lynn Silverstone on 9998 2915.

Experts discuss cultural diversity and ageing 

In other event news, Flinders University is hosting two public seminars on cultural diversity in ageing next Wednesday 28 May and is making both available to watch online.

In the first session, Dr Helen Fiest, Australian Population and Migration Research Centre at the University of Adelaide will discuss ‘Intergenerational Perceptions of Ageing Well within the Australian Greek Diaspora’.

In the second, Professor Michael Tsianikas of the Australian Centre for Hellenic Language and Culture at Flinders University, will discuss ‘Lost in a Foreign Land? Investigating the Linguistic and Conceptual Understanding of Translated Text for the Aged People of Greek and Greek-Cypriot Background’.

Click here to view the recordings, which will be available one hour after the seminars.


Tags: alzheimers-australia, amana-living, anglicare, blue-care, Community Care (Northern Beaches), Dr Helen Fiest, flinders-university, Ian Barton, McCusker Nurse Service, Michael Tsianikas, ray-glickman, sensory garden, Sydney Local Health District,

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