New dementia service to support CQ seniors living at home
A NEW service is being rolled out in the Central Highlands region to assist seniors with dementia, and to educate their friends and families.
A specialised Dementia Advisory Support Services is now operating at Ozcare
Emerald, a not-for-profit provider of aged care services throughout rural and regional Queensland.
Ozcare dementia adviser and long-time Emerald resident Paula Gordon has worked as part of a wider care team within Ozcare, offering a range of support to those seniors living in their own homes.
“I am passionate about helping people live in their own homes with support and we have many people in our region who are well enough to do this,” Ms Gordon said.
“But there are also growing numbers of people who are living with dementia and their carers who need our support as well.”
Emerald resident Maureen Robertson said her late husband, who lived with dementia, had to be moved to an aged care facility since the necessary care wasn’t available locally.
“We tried to look after him at home but we could only have people come out to the farm one or two days a week,” she said.
“I don’t want to go in a home, I’d rather be here because I have all my crocheting and all my sewing machines and embroidery machines I have and use. It’s really wonderful.”
She said the help provided by Ozcare over many years was invaluable and she was pleased to see a local dementia service which would support patients and their loved ones.
“It’s harder for us than it is for them (dementia patients), they know what they’re thinking about where it’s harder for us sitting on the side line.”
Ms Gordon has a first hand understanding of the illness as some of her own family lived with dementia.
She said it was part of her role to help support family and friends in understanding what could happen and different ways to work through it.
“As part of work in the area, I have helped to promote healthy lifestyles for seniors,” she said.
“It is important to help people to remain in their own home for as long as possible but to also help them to transition from home to aged care.
“My role is to support those, particularly with early diagnosis of the illness, by stepping in early to make their life of living with dementia a bit easier.”
Through the new service, Ozcare can assist with education, support and help with understanding aged care pathways or the Federal Government’s My Aged Care website once a referral is made through ACAT (Aged Care Assessment Team).
“It can also be overwhelming for carers, so we are there to provide support, to find strategies that work in the home,” Ms Gordon said.
Towns included in the roll out are Emerald, Springsure, Gemfields, Willows,
Capella, Blackwater and Bluff.
“Having family looking after the client is very stressful, so having Ozcare as a service provider just helps their family with keeping them at home and keeping them safe,” Ozcare care assistant Lelitta Davidson said.