The service consists of a dementia healthcare specialist coming to the home to give advice and practical day-to-day advice tailored to the individual needs and circumstances.
Ben Gatehouse, Dementia Consultant Southern Cross Care (Vic) says the service fills a gap in the current spectrum of services.
“It’s extremely different to have a dementia expert come into your home to help with education, advice and support,” he says.
“Going into a person’s home gives the advisor a better understanding of your needs and challenges; when you’re in a person’s home, you can be far more specific and the service is tailored to that person.”
For instance, Mr Gatehouse says the specialist can advise on environmental design to help a person living with dementia be autonomous and as independent as possible.
“We’ll see how easy it is for a person to find the fridge and toilet etc, and may suggest using different colours or images on the doors,” he highlights.
“Or if we walk into a home with the TV and radio on, the phone ringing and there are three grand-children in the background, and their carer says the person with dementia seems agitated, we’ll suggest some changes,” he says.
Mr Gatehouse also points out a single advisor means there is a good continuity of care and rapport, and trust is developed.
“We can help with advising what the aged care process is, what residential respite or day support is available too,” he adds. “Follow-ups include visits, telephone support and using technology such as skype and FaceTime too.”
Southern Cross Care (Vic) CEO Andrew Newton says that with the right support and care, people living with dementia can still live a fulfilling and meaningful life.
The service is available for people who are over the age of 65, living with dementia and who live in the southern metropolitan region of Melbourne, which covers Kingston, Bayside, Frankston and Mornington Peninsula. It can be accessed through the MyAgedCare website, have a referral from a healthcare professional, or people can self-refer.
Although the service is funded by the Australian Government Department of Social services and some fees may be applicable.
For more information call 1800 508 008 or email firstname.lastname@example.org