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Dementia care model sees positive results

After just six months of implementing a new dementia care model, a provider has seen a noticeable reduction in falls, extreme behaviours and the need for psychotropic medication in two of its facilities.

Interim results show that caring for the physical is not the only consideration to make when caring for persons living with dementia
Interim results show that caring for the physical is not the only consideration to make when caring for persons living with dementia

In July 2016, The Salvation Army Aged Care Plus implemented the dementia care model called Making Moments Matter (formerly known as the Butterfly Household Care Model) into its facilities in Narrabundah, ACT and Chapel Hill, QLD.

The model, which is originally from the UK, involves making physical, cultural and environmental changes within the organisation. These include painting vibrant colours in memory support units to allow greater independence for those with sight spectrum declines, involving residents with domestic duties to give them a sense of purpose and value, and intensive staff training focusing on emotional intelligence to connect with the residents.

In just six months Mountain View Aged Care Plus Centre in ACT has seen a 100 percent reduction in extreme behaviours, an 85 percent reduction in falls and a 33 percent decrease in the number of residents requiring psychotropic medication. The Cairns Aged Care Plus Centre in QLD has seen a 25 percent reduction in extreme behaviours, a 67 percent reduction in falls and a 10 percent decrease in the number of residents requiring psychotropic medication.

Aged Care Plus Executive Manager – Care Services, Peter Bewert says the interim results demonstrate caring for the physical is not the only consideration to make when caring for persons living with dementia.

“The value of replacing task orientated care routines with relaxed homelike experiences, where staff are considered to be an extension of family cannot be underestimated,” he says. “The benefits of emotional connectivity have had a significant impact on physical, psychological and social wellness. In essence, we’ve been able to quantify that love, peace, joy and hope are key to quality of life and this is achieved through Making Moments Matter.”

The Making Moments Matter model has given residents a sense of purpose and value

As a result of increased physical activity and contentment under the model, interim results also show 60 per cent of residents at both centres have experienced a stabilisation in their pain.

Families of residents living with dementia are also seeing positive results. Amanda Jackson, the daughter of Sue Jackson, a resident of Mountain View Aged Care Plus Centre, says valuing the individual is at the heart of this model. “And it has been so wonderfully demonstrated by the staff. I can already see how the program is providing greater quality of life for the residents when compared with the older programs,” she says. “They are engaged and welcomed into a new home and I can see they are no longer bored or reserved.”

Ms Jackson says the physical changes in the building also gave a sense of home. “Mum has had a number of falls in the past, running into the walls. But now with the bright colours being painted, she can actually distinguish between the floor and walls. I also believe it’s had an emotional response,” she says. “It feels less institutionalised and I love to come and visit.”

As the Making Moments Matter model implementation continues, building construction will take place in the next six months to create fully functioning small households featuring domestic kitchens and laundries in which the residents can carry out daily routine tasks. Additional staff training will also be carried out to complete the emotional intelligence and person-centred care delivery function of the model.

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