Pro­grams praised

De­men­tia Aus­tralia part­ner­ship en­riches Moy­ola res­i­dents’ lives

The Tatura Guardian - - Front Page - By Madeleine Cac­cian­iga

Moy­ola Lodge staff and res­i­dents re­ceived a well-de­served pat on the back last week for their work with De­men­tia Aus­tralia and in­tro­duc­ing name tags, chooks and a 24-hour snack graz­ing sta­tion, pro­vid­ing in­de­pen­dence for res­i­dents liv­ing with de­men­tia.

The aged-care home started the pro­gram in Septem­ber last year to pro­vide staff with more knowl­edge and learn how to bet­ter sup­port res­i­dents with de­men­tia.

Fa­cil­ity man­ager Jac­qui McEwan said from there the team picked three projects.

‘‘We now have the two chooks that live down in the Mar­garet Love Wing, res­i­dents are us­ing name tags, which has helped with com­mu­ni­ca­tion, and the food’s been great as far as pro­mot­ing in­de­pen­dence,’’ Ms McEwan said.

She said work­ing with the team at De­men­tia Aus­tralia had been great to fo­cus on sup­port­ing res­i­dents to be as in­de­pen­dent as pos­si­ble.

‘‘Just be­cause they have de­men­tia doesn’t mean that they’re not ca­pa­ble of do­ing things them­selves, it’s about us putting that sup­port in place so that they can main­tain that in­de­pen­dence,’’ Ms McEwan said.

Jour­ney of the name tags

Per­sonal carer Claire Far­row said the ‘‘jour­ney of the name tags’’ started with stick­ers to see the re­ac­tions of the res­i­dents.

‘‘There was a lot of dif­fer­ent feed­back from staff notic­ing the res­i­dents were re­act­ing to this, staff be­ing called by their names and a lot more con­ver­sa­tions be­gan,’’ Ms Far­row said.

Res­i­dents be­gan to ac­cept the ap­proach of wear­ing their name tags and now take pride in wear­ing them.

With the name tags pro­mot­ing more con­ver­sa­tion and in­ter­ac­tion with staff, Ms Far­row said the res­i­dents recog­nised when some­one was not wear­ing one.

‘‘One of our res­i­dents asked a se­nior worker what her name was, as she had for­got­ten to wear her name badge,’’ she said.

24-hour graz­ing sta­tion

To fur­ther sup­port the pos­i­tive change in the wing, the 24-hour snack graz­ing sta­tion also pro­vided great feed­back.

By pro­vid­ing more ap­peal­ing food to sat­isfy the res­i­dents, Ms McEwan said the team had achieved in­de­pen­dence, pre­served dig­nity and in­creased self-es­teem in the res­i­dents’ abil­i­ties in what they could do for them­selves.

‘‘Through the project our aim was to sup­port, pro­mote and en­cour­age choice and in­de­pen­dence in nu­tri­tion through the use of vis­ual stim­u­la­tion and va­ri­eties of fin­ger foods,’’ Ms McEwan said.

She said an­other part of the ini­tia­tive was to get res­i­dents up and in­volved by en­cour­ag­ing them to as­sist staff with load­ing up a tea trol­ley and wheel it around to of­fer other res­i­dents some of the meal choices.

‘‘This ini­tia­tive has seen one of our res­i­dents . . . be­come more and more in­volved in the daily life here at Moy­ola, he helps with morn­ing and af­ter­noon tea, and he walks down with staff mem­bers to col­lect the meal trol­leys from the main kitchen,’’ Ms McEwan said.

Wel­com­ing chick­ens

Aged care fa­cil­ity chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Polly Devine said the de­ci­sion to wel­come chooks as the third project was ev­i­dent be­cause ‘‘we live in a ru­ral, re­mote area where a lot of peo­ple are from farms’’.

‘‘The chooks ar­rived, sched­ules were made about feed­ing and what time they were in and out, ev­ery­one was pretty ex­cited, but no-one ex­pected that they ac­tu­ally like con­crete . . . so there was drop­pings ev­ery­where,’’ Ms Devine said.

She said the res­i­dents stepped up and were out every morn­ing with the chooks, let­ting them out and grab­bing the broom to clean up.

‘‘The chooks are happy here and every morn­ing I have a vis­i­tor . . . with two ban­tams . . . one’s called Blackie and one’s called Betty White,’’ Ms Devine said.

‘‘It says a lot about in­tro­duc­ing an­i­mals into a unit for res­i­dents and the in­crease of com­mu­ni­ca­tion and com­fort.’’

De­men­tia Aus­tralia

Staff de­mon­stra­tions con­cluded with thanks to Gar­rie O’Toole and Liz Keat­ing from De­men­tia Aus­tralia for their great di­rec­tion to hatch the plans.

De­men­tia Aus­tralia fa­cil­i­ta­tor con­sul­tant Liz Keat­ing said the pro­gram was about shift­ing mind­sets and ways of work­ing with those who are liv­ing with de­men­tia.

‘‘Giv­ing res­i­dents an op­por­tu­nity to have roles, and to help staff re­alise that if peo­ple have a di­ag­no­sis of de­men­tia, it does not mean to say they can not do any­thing any more,’’ Ms Keat­ing said.

‘‘They’re still able to con­trib­ute and be in the world, and have that dig­nity and in­de­pen­dence and main­tain their con­fi­dence.’’

Fa­cil­i­ta­tor con­sul­tant Mr O’Toole said it was an hon­our to be work­ing with the team at Moy­ola Lodge.

‘‘Just to work with you and see the en­thu­si­asm and the ex­cite­ment and be­ing able to work through the chal­lenges that in­evitabil­ity arise, just to see the ex­cite­ment on their faces,’’ Mr O’Toole said.

Both fa­cil­i­ta­tors felt that they had formed a bond with the staff and res­i­dents at Moy­ola Lodge.

‘‘Across the pe­riod of the­months that we’ve been work­ing with Polly and the team here we have seen the growth and it can only get big­ger and bet­ter and even more amaz­ing be­cause you were amaz­ing to start with,’’ Ms Keat­ing said.

Pic­ture: Madeleine Cac­cian­iga

Feath­ered friends: Moy­ola Lodge res­i­dent Muriel and life­style co­or­di­na­tor Carmel Wearne bond with Mar­garet Love Wing ban­tams Blackie and Betty White as part of the De­men­tia Aus­tralia pro­gram.

Pic­ture: Madeleine Cac­cian­iga

Team­work: Moy­ola Lodge staff met with De­men­tia Aus­tralia to dis­cuss their progress since team­ing up in Septem­ber last year.

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