August 08, 2017

Australian Journal of DementiaCare - IN THIS ISSUE: AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2017

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

Cover story: Communicating together

Jacki Liddle, Brooke Mai Whelan, Peter Worthy and Janet Wiles are part of an Australian team working with people with dementia to develop new technologies to support communication

Also in this issue: 

Global action on dementia
7 actions and targets Including:
  • Dementia as a public health policy
  • Dementia awareness and friendliness
  • Risk reduction
  • Diagnosis treatment and care
  • Support for carers
  • Information systems
  • Research and innovation

Alzheimer’s Australia renews calls for funded dementia strategy! P. 7-9

Working together to keep communicating

Developing new technologies to support communication, by supporting reminiscence – keeping track of someone’s location so they can walk without getting lost and by providing memory prompts for important things such as taking medications – the Florence project at the University of Queensland and Bond University aims to develop these technologies.
Communicating changes with dementia  -  from Alzheimer’s Australia  2017  - include;
  • word finding
  • problems with directions
  • unable to relay information
  • forgetting what was just said
  • repetition
  • talking about past events as if they were current
  • repetition of questions related to appointments, people  and places
  • difficulty understanding complex ideas
  • struggling with choices
  • needing extra time to understand what is being said
  • saying things that don’t make sense
  • difficulty reading and writing
  • don’t follow the rules of conversation…p.10-11

Designing for older Indigenous people

Introducing a new guide to assist in designing and refurbishing meaningful places for older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

The Guide is organised around 10 key design principles. These are:
1. Unobrusively reducing risk
2. Focusing on the small scale
3. Seeing and being seen
4. Hiding unimportant things
5. Emphasising important things
6. Moving about and engaging
7. Creating a recognisable and meaningful place
8. Choosing to be on your own or with others
9. Being part of the community
10. Doing what you want to do
* available for loan to members of AANSW - if you would like to reserve them please email the Library on
P 12-14

Young onset dementia: the benefits of employment

Work-based interventions can have important benefits for people with young onset dementia to reduce the loss of self esteem use of work based intervention can have benefits – includes a systematic review and shows the impact on personhood
 p 15-16

Small changes have a big impact

Modest improvements to the environment have had significant benefits for community day centre clients and staff after an initial assessment  cottage refurbishments  including the kitchen, dining  and other areas were improved for safety, visual access, the highlighting of useful stimuli , made to look more familiar improve both privacy and community and community links  as well as domestic activity via a scoring system. Staff and have noted increases in wellbeing and client care …p 17-20  

How to manage dysphagia

Strategies for carers to support safe swallowing and help people with dementia and dysphagia maintain the pleasures of tasting and eating – discusses the causes and consequences as well as the swallowing and eating difficulties . Looks at early and later stages and signs of oral or pharyngeal dysphagia. Gives strategies to support the person with swallowing difficulties who has dementia :
  • Ensure good oral hygiene
  • Use the environment
  • Ensuring the person is ready
  • Assist swallowing – using techniques prescribed by speech pathologist  etc
  • Enhance the senses
  • Assist eating 
  • Use appropriate equipment/ cutlery p21-25

Books on finger foods ****

Redesigning texture modified foods
LHI Retirement Services in South Australia has improved the mealtime experience for residents with dysphagia by changing the way texture-modified food is presented Read the article for FREE online.

It's all about the food not the fork!
Everyone enjoys the fun and convenience of snacks and other easy to eat food.
But for some people these meals in a mouthful are a life-changer—especially if they can be eaten with your hands and are good for you as well. That’s where new cookbook It’s all about the food not the fork! 107 easy to eat meals in a mouthful comes in—no cutlery required!
Don't give me eggs that bounce : 118 cracking recipes for people with Alzheimer's
It's all about how to make mealtimes a pleasurable, social and safe experience in the context of dementia, ageing, swallowing difficulties and texture-modified diets.
Carers are especially supported with time saving techniques, easy options and a special chapter on caring for the carer, along with lists of support organisations and resources.       

Food and nutrition for people with dementia
Dementia Services Development Centre, University of Stirling
This guide for care workers is designed to raise awareness of the eating and drinking difficulties faced by people with dementia. It provides details of problems likely to be encountered on a daily basis and outlines practical ways to overcome them. It shows that, in many cases, a few simple measures – from gaining knowledge of a person’s likes and dislikes and dietary requirements, to making mealtimes and enjoyable experience, can ensure access to good food and drink.  The guide offers tips to care workers on helping someone with dementia to eat – from how to stay calm and flexible to involving them in meal and snack times – and advises how to maintain the individuality of those receiving care with dignity, respect, empathy and patience.  Exercises, multiple choice questions and discussion points have been included at the end to check the reader’s level of understanding of the subject.

Finger foods for independence: for people with Alzheimer's disease and other eating difficulties
by Lois Newton and Alan Stewart
This book is about serving food to people who are unable to manipulate cutlery and yet are able to pick up foods by themselves. It shows how finger food can be an elegant alternative to pureed or vitamised food. This book is for all those who serve food in institutions for frail or older people and for those who are carers at home. It could make a world of difference to people with Alzheimer's disease or other disabilities perceived to require assisted feeding, as well as to their carers. There are clear guidelines and recipes for carers who wish to build new cues and connections for eating with elegance and style. This whole book is diabetic-friendly.

Carers' recipe book : quick and easy meals
Great Lakes Neighbour Aid and Great Lakes Centre Based Respite Service
This recipe book was formulated for carers who, in their caring role, do not have much time to prepare quick and easy, healthy meals. Compiled by the staff of Great Lakes Neighbour Aid and Great Lakes Centre-Based Respite Service, the recipes have been donated by carers in the Great Lakes Shire and staff of Forster Home Flexi Care.

*These resources are available for loan to members of AANSW - if you would like to reserve them please email the Library on
P 26-27

Demonstrating the sensory changes in dementia

The effects of sensory impairments that can be experienced by people with dementia and implications for practice
  • Auditory filtering difficulties
  • Hypersensitivity to sound
  • Narrowing of visual field
  • Loss of depth perception
  • Problems with pattern recognition
  • Double vision and ghosting
  • Visual hallucinations
  • Taste and smell changes including olfactory hallucinations
  • Touch either hyper sensitivity especially mouth – fronts of hands – soles of feet- genitalia...

Physical comorbidities of dementia
by Susan Kurrle, Henry Brodaty, Roseanne Hogarth
Dementia is reaching epidemic proportions. To date treatment has focused on cognitive and behavioural symptoms and their management, but the physical side has been neglected. Physical comorbidity is extremely common in people with dementia and leads to excess disability and reduced quality of life for the affected person and their family. Physical comorbidity is often treatable if not reversible. Epilepsy, delirium, falls, oral disease, malnutrition, frailty, incontinence, sleep disorders and visual dysfunction are found to occur more frequently in dementia sufferers. Physical Comorbidities of Dementia describes how these may present and gives detailed information and evidence-based recommendations on how to recognise and manage these conditions. Written by clinicians, each chapter deals with a separate condition accompanied by a list of recommendations for management. Physical Comorbidities of Dementia provides practical explanations and solutions to help all healthcare professionals to improve care for people with dementia..

*This and many other  resources are available for loan to members of AANSW - if you would like to reserve them please email the Library on

Teepa Snow DVDs Progression of dementia : seeing gems - not just loss
This program is designed to help those offering support and assistance to reframe the changes that come with the progression of dementia. The goal is to begin to recognize, and then use the retained and preserved skills that are remaining, while acknowledging what is not available to the person as they are in that moment.  When care partners have a better understanding of the common changes in function and ability that occur when someone has dementia it is possible to provide the 'just right' fit in environmental support and care to optimize performance and foster positive interactions and care outcomes.

Appreciating what is possible and what abilities that person has available to them will promote safe and meaningful life experiences for all involved. A very quick review of brain changes and accompanying changes in abilities, needs, interests, and communication skills will start the session. Then there will be a focus on looking for signs and symptoms of changing skill sets and needs with the primary focus for the learners being how to recognize the changes and help the care providers modify their help and the environmental supports for a better match and fewer catastrophic events or acute hospitalizations and improved daily life experiences for both the person with dementia and their care providers. This program is approximately 2 hours in length
 In "Progression of Dementia" Teepa explains
- how to tell apart different disease stages to better adapt your caregiving techniques
- why patients in later stages can't relax their muscles and how to safely handle them to avoid bruising
- how to reduce the risk of falls
- how to safeguard your relationship with the patient as the disease progresses
- how to reduce unwanted behaviors by controlling the environment and effectively shifting their focus
P 28-31

Improving outcomes for people with cognitive impairment in hospital
Findings from a formative evaluation of the CHOPs program at three NSW hospitals



To collect and assess data about current processes for managing older people with confusion at your local site.
During this phase, the team will need to collect data from a number of sources to identify and prioritise key issues or gaps in current practice.


  1. Undertake baseline data collection using suggested tools:
o    Additional qualitative data can be collected through staff and carer focus groups
  1. Use A3 Diagnostic reporting tool to present the results
  2. Identify issues or gaps in current management against the key principles
  3. Prioritise issues or gaps in practice based on diagnostic results
  4. Communicate the need for change


Plus the latest dementia research news, resources and events!

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