Dementia a prime focus for Willochra Homes

MARCH 26, 2019
Dementia a prime focus for Willochra Homes | The Flinders News | Port Pirie, SA

The Willochra Home in Crystal Brook are increasing their focus on dementia care residents by creating new activities and opportunities to help them thrive whilst in the facility. 

Most recently, the home have installed a fence around the homes which will allow residents to wander, spend time outside and not feel restricted inside. 

Pam Charnock the general manager of the homes explains that recently they have had a high percentage of dementia care admissions into the homes and noticed that they are missing out on going for walks.

“What we have done is fenced the whole perimeter of the building which again will continue when we do our new facility as well. It is secure enough that the residents can walk around, with CCTV watching them as well, they will have that little bit of independence to do that walk on their own. 

“It gets them out in sunshine, gets them out walking about and wears them out a little bit. We can also just open the doors from rooms where they can go to an outdoor seating area, some just like the fresh air coming through,” Pam explained. 

The homes is working towards implementing the Montessori model which allows dementia care residents to engage in meaningful activities, restore function, have increased participation but also decreases their responsive behaviours. 

The staff at Willochra will be participating in some training to learn about the model and how to best care for their dementia residents. 

Pam explains that their staff have self-nominated to work in the dementia care wings and they are happy that their decisions will provide the residents with a continuity of care, assisting residents by maintaining familiar faces. 

“We are also doing a lot more dementia focused activities for our residents. Within our memory secured unit, staff are trained for specific dementia activities,” she said. 

Additionally, the centre court yard at the home is being opened up for high care dementia patients to allow them to wander but also have a sensory experience at the same time. 

“It will have a sensory garden, different areas that they can walk on whether it be wood or grass and textures on the wall. 

“A lot of them are previous farmers and like to do an early morning walk. It is nice and secured, but also weather proofed as well. 

The staff are already seeing results from the new fenced area where behaviours are becoming greatly modified and they are showing more response to activities. 

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