• iSupport for Dementia

    Gillian Schulze iSupport Dementia

    Early last year, Resthaven Community Respite Services participated in the initial trial of an adaptation of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) ‘iSupport for Dementia’ online training program by the Caring Futures Institute at the Flinders University of South Australia.

    The WHO’s iSupport for Dementia training aims to educate and train people who care for someone with dementia to better understand and increase their awareness of the condition, via online learning module topics. These include general information on dementia; information relating to being a family carer; how carers can look after themselves and care for the person with dementia; and how to address specific symptoms of dementia.

    The project team at the Caring Futures Institute, lead by Professor Lily Xiao, College of Nursing and Health Sciences, has adapted the first two topics for an Australian audience. The two questions were trialled by Resthaven Community Respite Services’ staff and carers of clients with dementia.

    Resthaven Community Respite Services Coordinator, Gillian Schulze says, ‘Resthaven has a history of research projects undertaken with Professor Xiao, so we were pleased to be involved.’

    ‘We walked carers through the online trial, actively asking for their feedback. Carers thought it was a very helpful program, and something they would be able to do easily online in their own time.’

    ‘They also thought it was useful to share with family and friends, so they can all support each other.’

    Professor Xiao is now inviting all interested informal or professional carers of people living with dementia to test the first two sample topics and provide feedback. Visit https://isupportdementia.flinders.edu.au/flinders/pages/en/index.html to sign up, or contact Professor Xiao via email at lily.xiao@flinders.edu.au.

    It is proposed that the Australian adaptation may also include a topic, ‘My engagement with consumer directed care’. This will aim to prepare carers to actively participate in the development of care plans of people with dementia, thereby helping to ensure the quality of services in a consumer directed care (CDC) process.

    Celebrating 85 years in 2020, Resthaven Incorporated is a not for profit, South Australian aged care community service associated with the Uniting Church. Every day, Resthaven shares the lives and wisdom of around 10,000 older people and their carers, working together to provide outstanding care and support.

    Resthaven works together with older people and their carers throughout metropolitan Adelaide, the Adelaide Hills, Murraylands, Fleurieu Peninsula, lower Barossa regions, the Riverland and Limestone Coast of South Australia.