• Dementia respite program a ‘game-changer’ for carer, Cherie-Lee

    Dementia respite program a ‘game-changer’ for carer, Cherie-Lee

    Resthaven’s ‘Staying at Home in Regional South Australia’ program has been a ‘game changer’ for family carer, Cherie-Lee Lindsay.

    Cherie -Lee is the primary carer of her father, Mr Bill Kable, who lives with dementia.

    Cherie-Lee explains, ‘When I first read about the Staying at Home program, I thought it was perfect for us, as my goal has always been to understand how I can better assist Dad and support him throughout this entire journey.’

    ‘When chatting with the Resthaven Dementia Educator, Gillian Schulze, I found out that Dad and I could attend a retreat and enjoy quality time together, whilst receiving direct support and education from Resthaven. I was very excited to attend.’

    So it was that, in late 2023, Cherie-Lee and Bill attended Resthaven’s second program retreat in Stirling in the Adelaide Hills.

    Resthaven Project Officer and Dementia Education Specialist, Gillian Schulze, explains, ‘The program creates an opportunity for people to meet others with a similar experience, and for carers to receive education and support, knowing that they are not alone.’

    ‘All the while, the person they care for is supported by trained Resthaven staff 24/7, with plenty of activities on offer.’

    Cherie-Lee says, ‘The carer sessions with Gillian were so informative. Not only have I have learned so much about dementia, but it was incredibly beneficial to learn from the other participants about how they navigate the challenges we face when caring for a person with dementia.’

    ‘I felt very privileged to meet people with similar experiences to us and established a close connection.’

    ‘Importantly, Dad felt very comfortable during the retreat, and really enjoyed chatting with everyone.’

    ‘And there were a lot of takeaways from the information I was given — I’ve since written an emergency care plan, which I hadn’t considered before.’

    ‘Now that I’ve attended the retreat, I feel more confident to support Dad and know what to do as his needs change and increase.’

    ‘If you are a carer considering Resthaven’s Staying at Home in Regional SA program, I highly recommend that you go for it!’

    The Staying at Home in Regional South Australia program forms part of the Government’s response to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety. It aims to provide vital education and support to carers whilst their loved one is cared for in the same location by experienced staff.

    Gillian explains, ‘Participants do not need to be Resthaven clients; as long as they meet the criteria of having a diagnosis of dementia, want to stay living at home, and have a carer, they can access the program.’

    In 2024, retreats will be held in the Riverland (three-day retreat on 12–14 March), Cockatoo Valley (three-day retreat on 7–9 May), and Victor Harbor (single-day retreats on 8 and 15 July).

    To access the program, visit the Staying at Home Program page, phone (08) 8198 2088 or email SAHRSA@resthaven.asn.au.

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