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Improving care for RACF residents with dementia

August 29, 2019

Residential Aged Care Facility (RACF) staff across the Darling Downs and West Moreton region are better equipped to support people living with dementia due to innovative new training recently funded by Darling Downs and West Moreton PHN.

Churches of Christ in Queensland hold the exclusive licence to deliver the Virtual Dementia Tour™ (VDT™) across Australia to help raise awareness about the multi-sensory challenges of dementia.

The VDT™ is evidenced based and scientifically proven to give a person with a healthy brain the closest experience of what dementia might be like..

The creator of the VDT™ geriatrics specialist P.K. Beville M.S., based in the United States (and founder of Second Wind Dreams®) said the tour “enables caregivers to experience for themselves the physical and mental challenges those with dementia face, and use the experience to provide better person-centred care”.

Rebecca Hogan, Operations Manager for the Churches of Christ in Queensland - Virtual Dementia Tour said:
“The VDT is at the forefront in driving positive social change and is creating shared value across the sector through deeper human connectedness. Awareness raising is a two-way street and promotes the importance of information exchange within communities in order to improve mutual understanding to bring about the necessary change in attitude and behavior”.

“The VDT immerses participants and allows a head to heart connection, empowering staff to develop self-management strategies to effectively deliver empathetic person centred practice.

“As a sign of unity, we are collaborating with age care providers and education institutions nationally and see this as an opportunity to highlight that industry professionals are committed to improving the lives of our population.”

Darling Downs and West Moreton PHN’s most recent Health Needs Assessment identified that 47.5% of people living in permanent RACFS on the Darling Downs and West Moreton region have dementia.

Darling Downs and West Moreton PHN CEO Merrilyn Strohfeldt said with an increasing number of people living with dementia, including those with early onset dementia, in the region, providing this training to RACF staff was a priority for the PHN.

“We understand that one of the better ways we can support people living with dementia is by ensuring they are surrounded by healthcare staff who can understand dementia and its symptoms, leading to better communication with and treatment of residents,” Ms Strohfeldt said.

‘One of the things we liked about VDT is that it isn’t just about training nurses and general practitioners at RACFs, it is also about providing training to other support staff who might deliver morning tea to the residents who can provide incidental support and understanding.”

The VDT was delivered to 26 RACFs in the West Moreton and Darling Downs regions impacting 520 staff over the from April to June 2019.

To find out more about Aged Care initiatives funded by our PHN, visit our Aged Care page.

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affecting Health Care practitioners in the Darling Downs and West Moreton Regions: