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Dementia Care Resource and Training Network Nov 27, 2014
Dementia Care Newsletter


ear Jacqui

The Dementia team wish all our facilitators, students, contributors and readers all the best for Christmas, a happyand healthy New Year and hope you have a chance to rest and enjoy company of family and friends. 

I also want to acknowledge my hard working team, Michael, Jai, Jacqui, Kathy & Ian and thank them for the support and work commitment they have delivered throughout the year in making our site engaging and so successful.

I look forward to seeing each of you online in 2015.

Anne Moehead - Nurse Practitioner
Psychogeriatrics/ Dementia,  NNSWLHD

Something to think about: 

Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities...
Seize common occasions and make them great.
Orison Swett Marden

IMPORTANT: The Dementia Care site and help desk will not be monitored from the close of business on December 19.  During the month of January the site will go into maintenance mode while major changes take place to incorporate the competencies and the new "look" of the webpages.  

The site will officially reopen on Monday, February 16, 2015. 

  • Facilitator Training
Next facilitator training days:

We are in the process of planning  training in Gosford in February 2015. If you have a group of people in the Sydney area who are eager to attend training or a group of facilitators that would like a refresher then let us know. If you have access to a room with PCs that have internet access – even better!

To be a facilitator you need to be willing to share your advanced knowledge on dementia, have a commitment to seeing others educated in dementia and the ability to support participants as they work their way through the courses.

We have a waiting list of people keen to sign up and get started.

Did you know?

Dementia Care in Action Forum

Didn't get your certificate?

Don't forget the Dementia Care in Action forum. Everyone can access the forum which is found via the discussion tab on the website.   Updates and links to interesting articles from around the world are posted most days.

In addition to our general news items relevant to dementia, a new Hot Topic will be posted by one of our Dementia Experts every month to generate online discussion and dialogue. 

You can catch up on past or archived topics by entering a specific word in the search field. Some past topics include:

  • End of life care
  • Pain and the Confused Older Person
  • Importance of Sleep
  • Dementia, Downs Syndrome and Intellectual Disability 
November's Hot Topic is: Delirium Education for Carers.
It's not too late.  You may have forgotten to complete a forum or you may have missed your chat - the best way to find out what you have missed is to go to your gradebook and check what hasn't been graded.  

If you know you attended the chat or lodged your forum post, your facilitator may have missed grading your activity.

Drop your facilitator an email to ask or contact us via the Support email for us to check. 

This must be finalised before we close off the courses at the end of December. 

Just for Facilitators    
If you haven't logged into the Facilitator Tearoom to check out the forum posts, you are missing out!  The tearoom link is visible to facilitators only from the "Discussion" tab on our site.

Online Chat - Mark your calendar
The next facilitator online chat is planned for Tuesday, 9th December 3.30pm - 4.30pm. Drop in for as long or as short as you can. This chat will provide you an opportunity to ask the Dementia Care team any questions you have in relation to facilitating.  The team is here to support you. The link can be found inside the Facilitator Tearoom. 

End of 
Course Statistics stats.jpg

We have found a lot of facilitators are not aware of an extremely helpful tool in the reporting area of our courses. 

It is important for all facilitators to run a report when their course has completed.  The report can contain detailed information of each student or just a report showing who completed and what their final score was.  A great way to keep stats on all the courses you facilitate. 

NB: This information is no longer accessible by facilitators when the courses are archived at the end of each year

Check out the video instructions in the faciliators' online manual: Link: Reports
Upcoming Conference
fishx300.pngIan Johnston and Kathy De Souza will be presenting in Cairns:

World Indigenous Health Conference
15 - 17 December , 2014, Cairns
Their presentation will highlight our new course: Positive Approach to Care of the Aboriginal Person with Dementia. Make sure if you are there, come and say hello.
Competency Assessments Pilot Begins February 2015

A new online method to evaluate and establish clinical dementia care competencies which will inform clinicians regarding their education and career pathways will be added to the site early next year. This new functionality will enable clinicians to assess their dementia clinical competency from essential, enhanced and expert levels of service delivery and help them plan activities to enhance or achieve new levels of dementia care competency.

In line with the facilitated method of learning employed in our courses, the online competency framework will feature a mentor / mentee model of competency assessment. As such, we are seeking clinicians interested in taking part in the pilot as both mentors and participants working through the assessment process.


The program is based upon the recently completed cross-setting, inter-disciplinary Dementia Care Competency Framework, developed by NSW Health, The University of Wollongong and Dementia Collaborative Research Centres.

If you are interested in being part of the pilot contact Kathy De Souza via email: Kathryn.DeSouza@ncahs.health.nsw.gov.au


New Online Course
aboriginalcourse.jpgOn Monday 27th October we launched the long awaited pilot of the 6-week Positive Approach to Care of the Aboriginal Person with Dementia.

Thank you to all those who are currently participating in the pilot – your honest comments and feedback is most appreciated and will assist in making this the best experience possible for future participants.

Discussions about our new course were held with a number of Aboriginal Health care workers who pointed out that there were few educational opportunities in health that have been specifically designed for their population.  So without a doubt our new course will be well received by all.

The Dementia Care team is confident that this course will have a positive influence in guiding those clinicians working with Aboriginal People with Dementia using a person centred approach.
New course in production...
At present we are in the process of collecting and compiling resource material for the next course: Younger Onset Dementia.

Those diagnosed with Younger Onset Dementia have unique challenges that impact them financially and emotionally and of course on their family unit. Therefore, an accurate diagnosis is extremely important when developing a management plan.

The Dementia Care team look forward to this course becoming an integral part of the educational suite available on our site.

Natalie Richards - Cognitive Impairment Nurse
Natalie Richards is one of our recent participants who completed the Positive Approach to Care of the Older Person dementia online course. Natalie shared with us what she had been up to during Dementia week in September. Natalie is a wonderful example of how you can translate learning into practice. It is people like Natalie who are making a positive difference to those people with dementia and their loved ones.

This year I’ve been given the opportunity to work two days per week as a Cognitive Impairment Nurse, within Sydney Adventist Hospital or the SAN as it’s known. My role as a cognitive impairment nurse includes providing education for hospital staff, working on research projects (such a creating a cognitive impairment pathway & phase 2 of the Top 5 project with CEC) and providing assessments of our patients with dementia or delirium within the SAN. This role is slowing becoming an important role within the SAN as we have an ageing population within our area, on the medical ward where we work as a RN, our average is 85 years old and it’s not uncommon to see a 100 year old on the ward. 

After attending the HammondCare conference on dementia this year, I have taken on the goal that one of the speakers shared – 10% expert, 50% dementia trained and 100% aware. This is a difficult goal to have but holding an event such as dementia week in September and facilitating dementia workshops is assisting me to progress to this goal.

This year as part of dementia week I had many facets to engage staff and visitors about dementia. Firstly, I (with help from a few friends) created a pair a giant ‘memory shoes’ which had words on the shoes about places shoes may have been or activities performed wearing shoes in order to evoke thoughts from the person viewing the shoes. On Wednesday I hosted a dementia information session in front of the cafeteria, which was full of brochures and books to read about dementia. As part of the stand I invited staff & visitors to participate in creating their own shoe memories by decorating/writing on a paper shoe a memory, then we put it up on the shoe rack up on the wall. During this time, one staff member shared with me that the memory shoes were having the desired effect, every time she went to the café she stopped and thought about memories related to the words on the shoes.

The last event I held was a morning tea aimed at people who care for someone with dementia. Although we only had a few people attend they were very grateful for the brochures and the conversations that were available. I was very grateful for the support that I received from a social worker, a chaplain and an occupational therapist to assist with guiding the conversation.

Dementia and Delirium Care Hospital Volunteer Training Package 

chops1.jpgThis training package component of the CHOPs program is:-
  • Designed to support hospital patients with cognitive impairment. This includes patients with or without a diagnosis of dementia, patients with delirium or patients who have identified risk factors for delirium.
  • The purpose of this resource is to facilitate the training of volunteers for the Dementia and Delirium Care with Volunteers Program in NSW Health Services.
  • The implementation guide provides for framework and procedural resources for establishment of the volunteer program.
  • The training resource provides the structure and training resources to support initial and ongoing volunteer training.
  • This Volunteer Program model, integrates trained volunteers as part of the care team. It incorporates feedback mechanisms to support volunteer ownership, staff feedback and continuing program improvements
Key Principles for Improving healthcare environments for people with dementia
  • This resource provides the latest information on building dementia friendly physical environments for people with dementia.
  • It describes the ten key principles that define an appropriate physical environment for the care of people with dementia in hospital and describes the use of audit tools to assist with identifying areas for improvement.
  • Developed with the NSW/ACT Dementia Training Study Centre, ACI Aged Health Network, Health Infrastructure, Health System Planning and Investment, Older People’s Mental Health Policy Unit, Aged Care Unit, Ministry of Health.
For more information visit: http://www.aci.health.nsw.gov.au/chops
The following poem was submitted by one of our facilitators, Vicki Morrison who said: "I like this one... It says it all".

The poem was written by Fiona Horsington for the week 12 chat in our Positive Approach to the Care of the Older Person course, who has given us permission to post this to our newsletter. 

There was an old lady with dementia
She was so confused it would incense ya
But she's a person in there 
who deserves good care
and has someone who loves her immensely.

Written by Fiona Horsington 

Alzheimer's Australia NSW - Friendship Cards
Alzheimer’s Australia NSW has recently developed a series of Friendship cards designed to help people living with dementia and their friends remain connected in ways particular to each individual situation.  The cards have been designed to allow space for people to personalise information about themselves in order to help make interaction clearer and easier with their friends.

A set of 3 cards, specifically for the person with dementia includes focus on:
  • Out and About
  • Visiting one Another
  • Across the Distance
Christmas is not only a time for going out but also for having visitors.  The “Visiting one Another” card includes information on talking about times that were shared and provides tips on how friends can help a person with dementia feel more comfortable when they visit.

“Across the Distance” card helps to maintain friendships based on distance related contact such as email, letters and telephone.  The card describes ways that the person with dementia prefers to keep in touch and includes tips on communication.

The 4th card in the set is specifically designed for care partners who may have difficulty communicating the best way to keep in contact with their own friends, about their situation.
  • By my Side
Each card also includes Alzheimer’s Australia tips for friends in each situation. The cards are free and each measures 11cm x 9cm, which can easily fit into a wallet, pocket or purse and can be ordered by emailing nsw.resources@alzheimers.org.au

Come join us on Facebook!
Our page is becoming popular with some posts being reposted around the world and shared over 3,500 times. We would love you to share your comments and stories on our page.

Come be our friend to start up a fantastic way of keeping in touch with the latest news and network with others interested in Dementia Care. Make sure you "like" our page to spread the word!



North Coast Aged Care Symposium. Ageing Tsunami - Fact or Fiction?
ncacs.jpgThis two day forum, held at Ballina RSL on 31 July and 1 August 2014, was well attended by over 120 people.

Guest speakers included:
  • Associate Heather Booth
  • Associate Professor Leonie Tickle
  • Professor Gary Egger
  • Nick Carfino
  • Professor Colleen Cartwright
  • Dr David Kitching
  • Glen Pang
  • Barbara Anderson
  • Dr Sarah Hilmer
  • Yvonne Hammond
A special guest appearance was made by Cyril who gave a unique view of  health care from his perspective. Breakout sessions were also held with extremely informative speakers. Feedback from the day was positive.

A big thanks to the organising committee for a fantastic two days.  Keep an eye out for next year's forum - you won't want to miss it!
Facilitator Training - Moruya

In August, Kathy and Jacqui travelled to Moruya District Hospital to undertake facilitator training. Those who attended were engaging and welcoming to us both and totally spoilt us with homemade goodies. The bar has been set very high for future facilitator training. Feed us and we will come! We look forward to training more facilitators in 2015.
DCRC Forum
The 8th National Dementia Research Forum 2014 was held in Sydney on 19th September at the Wesley Conference Centre Sydney.  

The theme of the forum was: “Working Together – Knowledge Translation Matters”

All sessions were enlightening and of high educational value. Kathy from the Dementia Care team attended the forum and showcased our site through a poster presentation. The forum provided a great opportunity to network with people in this specialised field.

If you get an opportunity make a point to attend next year, you will not be disappointed.
All courses to be completed by December 19, 2014
Students will need to ensure they have completed their course and certificates issued prior to this date.  There will be no option for students to transfer completed work to another course in 2015. 

This will mean students not completing prior to the closing date in December will have to re-enrol in a new course when one becomes available in 2015.

Facilitators will need to ensure all grading has been completed prior to this date to ensure students can access their certificates.
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