September 21 – 27 September is Dementia Action Week. As part of the week, VMCH is proud to announce a specialist dementia care program in the North Western Melbourne region which will soon be available for older people with dementia who are unable to live in mainstream residential aged care.
VMCH’s St Bernadette’s Aged Care Residence in Sunshine North recently constructed Lady Lourdes House, funded by the Australian Government Department of Health’s Specialist Dementia Care Program (SDCP).
VMCH CEO Sonya Smart says Lady Lourdes House will provide care for eight residents, within a purpose-built space appropriate for people with dementia. The House has been refurbished and architecturally designed with guidance from Professor Richard Fleming and the Dementia Enabling Environmental Principles.
“The future of exceptional aged care relies on providing services that are tailored to the individual. We believe this is a great opportunity to provide specialised care for those with dementia, where we can provide care and support, and empower our residents to live happy, fulfilled lives despite their disease.
“Lady Lourdes House will provide our residents with 12 months of intensive, supportive care, to help them manage their symptoms, so that they can then transition into a mainstream aged care residence of their choice.”
Elizabeth Baxter, VMCH Dementia Services Specialist says Lady Lourdes House will provide a person-centred, multidisciplinary approach to care for people exhibiting very severe symptoms of dementia whose behaviours may put themselves or others at risk.
“The program will recognise the needs of people with advanced dementia who cannot be appropriately supported in a mainstream memory support setting, and assist them to continue to live well with dementia.
“The aim of the program is to provide intensive clinical support and review, with the aim of stabilising the symptoms that result in distress or challenge for the person or their family, before finding a suitable home for the person to transition into permanently at the cessation of their time at Lady Lourdes House.”
The program offers regular on-site support from Dementia Support Australia and clinical expertise through North West Mental Health Service to ensure all support is specific to the needs of people living with dementia.