A successful memory-support program developed in Warracknabeal to improve the lives of aged-care residents living with dementia is now available in the community.
Rural Northwest Health's (RNH) award-winning ABLE model is key for memory support nurse Katie Ramsdale as she visits community members who are living with dementia and their carers. Katie has worked in memory support since the ABLE model was first introduced and was the first nurse to be appointed into a specific memory-support role.
RNH Community Health manager Jo Martin said Katie was a pioneer of this level of memory support and the ideal person to be working with community members.
"A recent ABC TV documentary highlighted the success of a new Australian program where kindergarten children were integrating with dementia patients," she said.
"Katie started this program six years ago with instant results.
"We are definitely an industry leader when it comes to memory support."
Katie's experience in memory support has taught her that every dementia case is different.
"You have to work with every person individually because there are so many levels and types of dementia," she said.
"I visit people in the community who might be struggling to cope with day to day activities and I help their carers to implement mechanisms and prompts to improve memory.
"I do all I can to ensure they can live at home for as long as possible and then I can help them make the transition to residential care once it is necessary."
Katie also helps carers and families to access support and information from Dementia Australia.
RNH's national award-winning ABLE model focuses on (A) Abilities and capabilities of the resident; (B) Background of the resident; (L) Leadership, organisational culture change and education; (E) Physical environment changes.
The model uses sensory triggers to reactivate the mind. It also recognises that people with memory issues have skills and abilities and can still actively participate in their community.