Providing tools for better visits

More than 50 family members of Uniting AgeWell residents with dementia are more equipped to engage their loved ones positively after attending specialised information sessions.

In an effort to better support families, Uniting AgeWell facilitated Dementia Australia’s ‘A Better Visit’ sessions at Kingsville and Strathdon Communities.

The sessions explored the symptoms and suspected causes of dementia, along with sharing useful communication techniques, advice on how to manage challenging behaviours and engage people with dementia.

Lifestyle Manager Sharon Levey said the feedback from attendees was “extremely positive”.

“The overall consensus was that after the session family members felt they had some tools and techniques to assist them with engaging their loved ones during visits,” she said.

“Many of them expressed a desire to attend further information and training sessions in the future.” 

A family member who attended the Kingsville Community session praised Uniting AgeWell for hosting the “informative and educational” event.

“We learnt a lot of practical hints and tips and would like more sessions of this type,” she said in a feedback form.

The organisation has also delivered additional training to staff in various roles – direct care, finance, leisure and lifestyle, marketing and chaplaincy – to ensure they are better equipped to support people with dementia. 

Dementia Australia’s ‘Supporting successful community’ training provided staff with communications strategies; guidance on how to build relationships with people who have dementia; and how to reassure people who are confused or distressed.

Sharon said she would continue to work with Dementia Australia with the aim of delivering more staff training and family information sessions later in the year.