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Pilot program of Dutch model aims to lead in dementia support

A Dutch based Meeting Centres model is being trialled in Australia as part of a pilot program led by community organisation 3Bridges Community with the help of the University of Sydney and multi-year funding from the Government’s Dementia and Aged Care Services Fund (DACs).

Pilot program of a Dutch care model is coming to the 3Bridges Community (Source: Shutterstock)
Pilot program of a Dutch care model is coming to the 3Bridges Community (Source: Shutterstock)

As part of the Australian-first pilot program, which connects people living with dementia and their carers to their community, 3Bridges Community will work in collaboration with Professor Rose-Marie Dröes, coordinator of the MEETINGDEM network, Department of Psychiatry, VU University medical centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

3Bridges Community, Director Community Services Amal Madani says the team are excited about the project, which is set to commence mid October, and working with Professor Dröes.

“We are very excited to pilot such an initiative in Australia,” Ms Madani says.

“It has been great working with Professor Dröes who has been very approachable and supportive of our project.”

The fully integrated model being trialled is community driven and delivered with a person-centred approach and is intended to provide a variety of practical, emotional and social supports based on the adaption-coping model for people with dementia and their caregivers. Support is also offered at an easily accessible location, like community centres, by a small and permanent team of professionals.

The trial of the Meeting Centres concept will run for two years, with funding comprising the establishment of three trial sites at Roselands (opening early October), Carss Park (opening January 2018) and a third centre location to be advised; as well as a study of the outcomes of the trial by the University of Sydney.

“The importance of this project lies in the difference between this model of care and other fragmented services that are offered to people with dementia and their carers,” Ms Madani explains.

“This program offers a person-centred, comprehensive and integrated support for both the person with dementia and their carers under one setting, up to three days weekly for as long as the participants are benefiting from the program.

“We are hoping that the success of this pilot will inform Government policy on dementia care.”

As an introduction to this new integrated model, 3Bridges Community is hosting ‘Living to 100 A Blessing or a Curse’, a half-day seminar on 28 September at HLB Mann Judd in Sydney, which will focus on the concept of ageing.

“The aim of the seminar is to provoke discussion around ageing in order to challenge society’s negative views of older age,” Ms Madani says.

“The seminar will be an opportunity to explore challenges as well as opportunities that come with older age including dementia.

“It will be the right forum to launch such an exciting and important program.”

Representatives from Federal Government, peak bodies such as Alzheimer’s Australia NSW, Primary Health Network, aged care service providers, businesses, and local council as well as members of the community will be attend the seminar.

More information and registrations for the ‘Living to 100 A Blessing or a Curse’ seminar are available online.

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