December 10, 2014

Australian Journal of Dementia Care December -January

Full text articles are available to fee paying members of Alzheimer’s Australia NSW by emailing

Guest editorial by Glen Rees, departing CEO of Alzheimer’s Australia
Making Australia a dementia friendly nation
p. 2 
Person-centred care: from rhetoric to practice
The dominant medical model of aged care needs to be challenged and replaced with a focus on multiple domains of well-being
p. 4 

News highlights
  • $18 for dementia research projects
  • New CEO for Alzheimer’s Australia – Carol Bennett former CEO of Consumers Health Forum
  • Western Australia Sexualities and Dementia workshop creates change
  • World Dementia Envoy Dr Dennis Gillings to visit Australia in December
  • Dementia Nurse Cath Bateman awarded lifetime achievement at 2014 NSW Health Excellence in Nursing and Midwifery Awards
Self-discovery through image-making
The role of art in releasing the creative potential of people with dementia.  John Killick interviews Alzheimer’s Australia NSW's Marg Coutts who runs group art programs for people with dementia
p. 8-9 

Knowledge translation matters
Belinda Goodenough provides a snapshot of highlights from the recent 2014 National Dementia Research Forum in Sydney at which the Alzheimer’s Australia NSW Younger Onset Dementia Keyworker team won best poster.
p. 10 

‘Everyday exercise’ program reduces falls
Elaine Bray and Sanjeeta Mackrani describe a successful falls reduction program for care home residents with dementia, based on exercise built into daily living activities.
p. 11-12 

Moving into care: turning research into good practice
Alzheimer’s Australia NSW Senior Project Manager  Sally Lambourne and Project Officer Evan Rollins describe the knowledge translation project Moving Into Care, a new initiative designed to improve the experience for residents and their carers during the transition from home into residential aged care.
p. 13-14

Making dreams come true
Tony Sullivan reports on an initiative that aims to improve the mental health and well-being of aged care residents with dementia by making their dreams come true.
p. 14-16 

Designing for dementia
Darragh O’Brien outlines six principles for the design of supportive care environments for people living with dementia
p. 17-21 

The implications of Consumer Directed Care
The introduction of Consumer Directed Care in Australia is giving consumers more say in the choice and delivery of their home care services.  However, it also raises issues for service providers and their clients, many of whom have dementia.  How to providers determine a person’s capacity to make decisions, support client decision-making and deal with concerns about capacity?  Maria Twigg, Senior Evaluation Officer at Alzheimer’s Australia NSW, explains.
p. 21-24 

Semantic dementia: a long ,sad, lonely journey
Myra Lamont shares the story of her husband Archie’s altered diagnosis from Alzheimer’s disease to semantic dementia – and the lack of professional awareness and support they have encountered along the way.
p. 25-27 

Understanding HIV and dementia
As the lifespan of people with HIV has increased, so too has the risk of developing HIV-associated dementia. Denise Cummins explains the importance of diagnosis, education and effective management to help people with the condition maintain their independence and quality of life.
p. 28-30 

Reinvesting in life is the best prescription
When Kate Swaffer was diagnosed with younger onset dementia, she was advised to give up work, study and life as she knew it, put her affairs in order and investigate aged care options.  Instead, she ignored this ‘Prescribed Disengagement™’ as she terms it, and reinvested in life – something she recommends to everyone who has been diagnosed with dementia.
p. 31-32 

DementiaCare Research Focus
Caring till it hurts: suicide risk in family carers
Siobhan O’Dwyer discusses her research on suicide risk in family carers and provides practical suggestions to help staff in clinical and community practice identify and support carers at risk
p. 33-34 

Research News p. 35-36
Fiona Calvert report on the latest published dementia research from Australia and around the world
  • Victorian researchers investigated the experiences of disability staff in group homes supporting residents with Down syndrome and Alzheimer’s Disease
  • US researchers discover that people with Alzheimer’s disease can remember emotion, despite issues with declarative memory
  • Moving from being the primary caregiver to a visitor
  • Researchers assess the dementia knowledge among nurses, care workers and family members of people living with dementia using The Dementia Knowledge Assessment Tool (DKAT2)
  • Researchers investigate acceptability of an advance directive that limits food and liquids during advanced dementia
Book review p. 38
Live and laugh with dementia: the essential guide to maximizing quality of life
By Lee-Fay Low

Reviewed by John Killick
…..Lee-Fay Low shows herself to be speaking largely from experience in recommending approaches and strategies, and not leaning on the precepts of others. Time and again I was brought up short by an observation which I had not encountered before, and which recommended itself as both practical and effective….

Review by one of our educators Pam Davis
An easy to read book which highlights the importance of all of us remaining involved in physical and mental activities to keep our brains healthy and fit as we age. 

It outlines the many different ways the brain functions and shows how dementia may affect these abilities. 

Lee-Fay provides really practical strategies and tips on topics such as  whether it is okay to lie to the person with dementia; how to present activities;  how to communicate more effectively; and how to maintain friendships and connections and get family and friends to become more involved. 

The book is interspersed throughout with some really useful case studies that offer examples of interactions between a person with dementia and their carer, and Lee-Fay provides positive ways to respond in these situations. 

The great thing about this book is that it is not only based on research and scientific evidence but also on Lee-Fay’s years of experience working with people with dementia and their carers.

You can borrow this book from the library, email us at to reserve


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