10th International Conference on Vascular Dementia
Noosa Care Inc. Queensland, Australia
Title: Family carers are the experts, we are not the experts
Biography: Sandra Gilbert
In the past, a person living with dementia was handed over to the expert staff when they entered residential aged care. The family carer was told to go home and the expert staff would now handle everything. Transition into care has effects on both the person living with dementia and their family. This presentation will share the journey of Noosa Care, when designing their Memory Support Unit and how as part of that design process, the decision was made to make the family carer the focus of the unit. The resident’s family carer is considered the expert and has since the introduction of this new model, has taught and mentored staff on how to care for their loved one living with dementia. The physical design of the unit was also an important aspect of the model. The design of the unit promotes self-esteem and autonomy for the person living with dementia. This environment allows resident to walk from one room to another, through the gardens and living areas 24 hours per day. The University of The Sunshine Coast Queensland Australia conducted research on the new model, “To understand the perspectives of older people, their families or carers and staff of the effect of a purpose-built Memory Support Unit on the transition into care”. In the findings, family, staff and most importantly the residents living with dementia, expressed an overwhelming positive impact of the built environment and the new model of care.