September is Dementia Awareness Month, a campaign to demonstrate that people can continue to live well many years after their diagnosis. This year also places special significance on supporting the carers of people living with dementia. For us, this is an important conversation to have because in addition to our staff, it is estimated that 1.6 million Australians are involved in the care of someone living with dementia. This figure is only growing, and we are committed to providing better education and support wherever possible.
Community Gateway’s Director of Health Services, Jo Naughton is a big believer in early intervention strategies, “Dementia can go unnoticed and undiagnosed for lots of people. So, it’s important to know some of the signs to look out for. With early intervention we can delay the onset of illnesses like dementia and help people to live well for longer.”
Dementia Australia list some of the signs of dementia as:
Apathy and withdrawal
Loss of ability to do everyday tasks
Community Gateway's Registered Nurses, support people on a daily basis who are living with dementia, “Many of our clients are living with some form of dementia. Some have been diagnosed recently while other people have lived with it for years. The condition requires us to give some additional consideration at times, for example if the person is self-managing medication, we need to monitor that carefully for them.”
If you think a family member or loved one could use some extra support throughout their dementia journey, here are some important things you should know:
Funding support is available – Government-funded services like Home Care Packages (HCP) and Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) can allow your love one to stay at home for longer. For more info, head to the My Aged Care website.
There are a wide range of services available – Our staff provide a wide range of services that can improve the quality of life for people living with dementia. These include in-home support such as domestic assistance and personal care. Our team of Registered Nurses are also available to provide health assessments and care. We also provide social support and group outings.
Respite care can provide relief – We have a recently renovated Respite unit in Kempsey which is available to older people and those living with a disability. Whether your loved one stays for a few hours or overnight, you’ll have some time to yourself knowing that they are safe in our care.
If you would like to speak to a member of our team about the support options available, please call us on 1300 657 473.