June 04, 2009

INsite June-July 2009 Issue 54

Activities for residents with vision loss - includes activities for low to high care residents.

Who cares?
Australia faces a shortage of nearly 60,000 paid workers and 94,000 unpaid carers to care for people with dementia, according to a new report.
Australia is facing a shortage of nearly 60,000 paid workers to care for people with dementia, and the problem will be compounded by a shortfall of 94,000 unpaid (family) carers, according to the National peak body Alzheimer’s Australia. The report -
Making choices
Future dementia care: projections, problems and preferences

Dementia by numbers
Currently there are an estimated 234,000 people with dementia in Australia
By 2030, this figure will double to 465,460 people
By 2050, the figure will reach 731,030 people
By 2023, dementia will be the chronic disease projected to show the the greatest increase in disease burden
Over 60 % of people with dementia live in the community
The value of care provided to people with dementia was estimated as $10.9 billion in 2008, of which $5.5 billion was the value of informal care provided by unpaid carers
The opportunity cost or lost productivity borne by individuals, business and Government was estimated at $ 881 Million in 2008 …p. 3

New focus on gay seniors in aged care
A new research project is examining the attitudes of providers and health professional to end-of-life care for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) seniors in residential aged care…p. 5

Food for the soul
It was good to read an article (‘In our thoughts and our prayers?’ INsite, April / May 09) that touches on issues of spirituality for our elders….p. 7

A home like no other
Thousands of young Australians with complex care needs are living in aged care facilities. Darragh O'Keeffe reports on new moves to find appropriate alternatives… p. 10

Altering or crushing of medication
What is the best available evidence in regards to the altering/crushing of medication in residential care facilities?... controlled release medications should not be crushed or altered without consultation with the pharmacist …p. 12


The sound of feelings

Accessible care for people with dementia and their carers is crucial. However, spousal caregivers experience significant burden as they care for their spouse over long periods of time, with ever increasing physical, emotional and social strain….p. 14

Bright Ideas, bold new initiatives
Expression through art - Bupa Greenacre wanted to promote the emotional wellbeing of residents many of whom are living with significant cognative and physical disabilities, and frequently exhibited challenging behaviours…staff knew that many residents had difficulty expressing their feelings and thoughts so they came up with the idea of (with the help of an art therapist) transforming dull courtyard fences to a beautiful, vibrant, creative mural. Since starting the project, staff have reported a reduction in challenging behavoiurs from residents and had positive feedback from relatives and visitors.

Coming together
Staff at Whiddon group in Kelso wanted to reduce feelings of isolation among the people living at their facility and enable residents to enhance their connections with others… they came up with the pen pal program…the program now includes people in residential facilities around Australia and the UK. Materials required include pens, paper, a dictionary and an address book!

Keeping everyone up to date
Staff developed a fortnightly newsletter which is attached to all pay slips - it includes upcoming events, training, as well as social news…p. 15

Time to talk about the elephant
Campaigners want government to ensure elderly have access to wound products and treatment… p. 16

Skin care’s newest star
Skin tears are the most common wound found in older people - In Western Australia a team of researchers are have recently developed the ‘Skin Tear Audit Research’ (STAR) classification tool as the 1st stage of of the development process…p. 17

Delicious and nutritious - Suitable snacks for residents
Fortifiy foods - by adding energy, kilojoules or nutrients to food items…for example you can fortify pikelets, biscuits and scones with jam and cream; milkshakes can replace some drinks and there is also the option of adding commercial products…p.18

Proxy/observational assessments of pain in older adults with dementia
Older adults with severe cognative impairment may be unable verbalise or physically indicate pain. In these cases the use of a proxy ( often a nurse, family caregiver, physician) may attempt to assess the presence, quality and or intensity of pain, often by using behavioural cues such as changes in body movement, changes in routines, changes in facial expression, or changes in other behavioural symptoms….p. 22

Don’t fall for it
Falls prevention is an important part of the service given by carers in home-based care, retirement villages and aged-care residential facilities…this article offers a few things to consider such as: medications, physical activity, incontinence, standing too quickly, nutrition, vision and shoes that fit…p. 25

Looking beyond balance
Does a person’s personality influence how likely they are to suffer a fall? …there is a belief that too little emphasis is placed on psychological factors …and missing key may be to do with the personality profile such as anxiety, extraversion, tough-mindedness, independence and self-control…p.27

Thread counts
fantastic, fact or fiction? looks at the differences in quality for commercial sheets…p. 29

Boom amidst the bust?
Could the aged care industry, with its ongoing recruitment difficulties, actually benefit from the current financial downturn?...p. 33

When the price is right
More and more providers may be looking to technology to increase efficiencies, but many still haven't worked out the true costs involved… p. 36

Marvellous kitchen makeover
Teamwork and communication were the vital ingredients for a seamless refurbishment at a Canberra facility…p. 39

Forgotten security imperative
An effective crime prevention strategy must consider the environmental factors around the facility …p. 41

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