Community Healthcare / Health & Healthcare

Supporting carers of frail-elderly people and people living with dementia

We are delighted to announce Centacare as the Lanyard Sponsor for the 7th Annual National Dementia Conference, taking place on 21-22 March 2016 at the Novotel in Brisbane.

Centacare have been providing support services to people in South East Queensland for over fifty years, including aged care, psychiatric care, disability support, community programs and much more.

We caught up with Centacare before the conference about one of their programs called S.H.A.R.E The Care, assisting carers of frail-elderly people and people living with dementia. Here is some further information.

S.H.A.R.E. The Care

Carers are amazing people who are required to give so much of themselves when caring for someone. Carers are people who look after someone who is frail aged, living with dementia, or has a disability, a mental illness, a chronic illness, an intellectual disability, or a physical disability. They can be a family member, friend or neighbour. Caring can be challenging and without appropriate support, research has shown that carers can be at an increased risk of poor psychological and physical health and well being. At Centacare we are passionate about offering holistic person centred care to carers. We genuinely value and respect the carers of our clients because it is through their selfless acts of devotion and care which enables clients to remain independent and live in their homes for as long as possible.

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To demonstrate our commitment in supporting carers we developed S.H.A.R.E The Care. This Program aims to support carers of frail-elderly people and people living with dementia in five key areas:

Services: Providing a range of person-focused services to the Carer and care recipient to maintain independence and quality of life (e.g. Centre-based day respite, domestic assistance, overnight respite etc.).

Health (and wellbeing): Hosting activities that promote Carer self-care to reinforce the importance of maintaining good health and wellbeing, for example in this year of Mercy a pilgrimage to St Stephens cathedral on the 23rd of March.

Additionally, these events provide opportunities for Carers to connect with each other which can potentially foster friendships and offer additional “peer support” through the sharing of experiences and coping strategies (e.g. Drop in coffee mornings).

Assistance linking Carers into additional relevant support services that are available in the community to assist the Carer and care recipient. We provide Monthly Update newsletter mail outs to raise Carer awareness of services and supports.69-aged-care-respite.jpg

Rest: Encouraging Carers to utilise overnight respite care to rest, relax and recharge (e.g.
Araluen Cottage, Peachey Place).

Education: Providing seminars and workshops to raise Carer awareness, build Carer knowledge and develop Carer skills.

This year, a new training program called ‘Creative Ways to Care’ will start in July. This training is for family carers, providing strategies for carers of people living with dementia. It will cover a range of topics and strategies to empower carers with skills, resources and confidence to implement diversional strategies at home.

Participation in the program is optional, however, we encourage carers to “share the care” with us.  Many carers may feel a range of emotions about accessing support for themselves with some even feeling guilty about not being able to cope.

Carers Queensland’s annual Quality of Life survey found that 69% of unpaid family carers have less than 8 hours of ‘me’ time per week, with a staggering 43% reporting less than 3 hours. This is despite the fact that 70% of respondents believed that time to themselves was extremely valuable (Carers Qld, 2014). SHARE The Care program enables carers to have that much needed ‘me’ time, whilst offering person centred care for the person they care for.

Our goal is to establish and preserve, trusting and collaborative caring partnerships with carers in order to encourage and safeguard their health and wellbeing.  By providing carers with choices in the support and services they can access to assist them in their caregiving role, we can tailor support to meet their unique needs and preferences.

Carers who decide to participate in the program can choose to meet with the Program Coordinator to discuss their caregiving role and support needs. By conducting this type of assessment, we can acknowledge a carer’s role and responsibilities; identify areas where Centacare can possibly offer support and services to assist; and most importantly, we can learn about the carer as a person and gain an insight into their individual values, goals, concerns and challenges, thereby creating a truly caring partnership.

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For further information, you can visit Centacare’s website, and if you are attending the National Dementia Conference in Brisbane this March (21-22), then you can have a chat with the Centacare representatives also attending.

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