Christine, 77, is having a great old time with her friends Phyllis and Maureen when we visit her at the Enoggera Social and Community Hub on a Monday afternoon.
The trio have teamed up for a friendly game of ‘true or false’ and when Christine wins a point for her team, Phyllis gives her friend a big smile. “I just love Christine,” says Phyllis. “We put on the music and she gets everyone up dancing – I would never have gotten up if it weren’t for her”.
Christine lives with vascular dementia, which has affected her short-term memory. She no longer drives and requires support with daily living activities and getting out and about in the community.
Dementia impacts close to half a million Australians and, without a medical breakthrough, this number is expected to double by 2058. This Dementia Action Week (18-24 September) Centacare is joining Dementia Australia to advocate for a dementia-friendly future.
Centacare Service Delivery Manager, Sandra, said the team at Enoggera have skills and experience that allows them to provide high-quality care to people living with various stages of dementia.
“As a dementia-friendly organisation, we help our support workers understand dementia, learn strategies to communicate effectively with people living with the condition, and appreciate the impact that dementia can have on everyone involved,” said Sandra.
“Taking the time to really know the people that we support is critical. We talk to families and carers and get to know a person’s established routines, what brings them comfort and little things about their earlier years that can help us create opportunities for connection.”
Christine has found her second home at Centacare’s Enoggera hub. With funding from the Commonwealth Home Support Program, Christine attends the hub four days a week. The Centacare bus picks her up from the home that she shares with her daughter and drops her home in the afternoon. This routine provides Christine with an opportunity to maintain independence in her life and gives her the interaction and meaningful engagement with people that she craves.
Christine worked in aged care and has a strong calling to care for people,” said Sandra. “If one of her friends is feeling anxious Christine will sit with them and provide soothing. She is always lending a hand and offering support where she can – it connects her to what was important in her life and fills her cup.”
Do you care for someone with dementia?
While caring for someone you love who has dementia can be rewarding, it can also be tough going, impacting your social connections, physical and mental health. We can support you in your caring role, and give you a break, confident that the person you love is in an environment where they feel comfortable, supported by someone who cares about them.
You can choose the type of support that will best help the person you love live well at home for as long as possible – whether that’s one of our caring support workers who comes to your home; support to get out in the community; or spending time with us at one of our social and community hubs.
If the person you care for is living with dementia or a neurodegenerative condition, you may be able to access additional funding through Queensland Health Dementia Respite. This funding assists carers to maintain a healthy balance between their caring role and their work commitments. Carers do not have to live with the person they are caring for to be eligible. Give us a call to find out more.