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Bringing back the 'Spark of Life' to residents

A program which aims to bring the 'spark' of life back to people living with dementia is reportedly having promising results among residents at a Southern Cross Care (SCC) (WA) residential aged care facility in Perth.
A program which aims to bring the 'spark' of life back to people living with dementia is reportedly having promising results among residents at a residential care home in Perth.

SCC commenced piloting the Spark of Life dementia program at its residential care home Margaret Hubery House and one of its respite centres, to independently measure results and asses its suitability for use at other homes and respite centres.

Developed by Dementia Care Australia, Spark of Life is a person centred approach to care which encompasses social, cultural and individual identity, not just physical care.

The Spark of Life approach is supported by the innate and proven belief that a 'spark' can be rekindled in people with dementia as well as in all involved in their care. As a consequence of implementing this approach, improvements in memory, language, communication, social interactions and behaviour can reportedly become possible.


SCC has trained support staff as Spark of Life Club Program facilitators and certified practitioners to deliver these programs.

Up to 59% of SCC's residential care residents have been diagnosed with dementia with up to another 40% showing early symptoms.

Dementia can be an incredibly isolating experience as the person withdraws socially, ceases to communicate verbally and their senses shut down. Carers can also experience social isolation, stress and fatigue.

SCC Master Practitioner, Sandy Crowe, says: “Spark of Life is a truly person centred approach, in that it considers the whole person when planning and implementing care. It encompasses their social, cultural and individual identity in the delivery of their emotional and physical care.

"Spark of Life recognises that each person has unique interests and life stories and their care incorporates their abilities, preferences, interests, values and spirituality. It is about redefining dementia by awakening dormant abilities and enriching everyone's quality of life.”

Master Practitioner Sandy Crowe is presenting her findings to date at the 30th International Conference of Alzheimer’s Disease International at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre (PCEC) next Friday (17 April 2015).


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