Sep 20, 2023

The rehabilitation program keeping dementia clients independent at home for longer

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According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 52% of people with dementia aged 85–89 and 54% aged 90 and over live in the community. [Source: Supplied]

A dementia diagnosis doesn’t mean you must give up your life and independence. In fact, many older people with dementia live a full and happy life being supported at home outside of residential care – a preference of the majority of our ageing population.

To help more people with dementia stay independent for as long as possible, allied health provider Encara has introduced its first in-home Dementia Rehabilitation Program to residents in the Mornington Peninsula and City of Casey regions.

Based on a comprehensive, evidence-based therapy and educational model, the program aims to support and enhance consumers’ well-being and quality of life post-dementia diagnosis.

Led by a team of Occupational Therapists and Physiotherapists, Encara’s 12-week Dementia Rehabilitation program incorporates a well-rounded range of holistic therapies – such as music therapy, art therapy, and aromatherapy – to stimulate the mind and soul. Consumers are further supported with referrals to additional Encara allied health services as needed, giving consumers access to dieticians and speech therapists, further supporting consumers to stay well at home.

Links  between staying independent and movement are  well-documented, which is why Encara created the program based on its existing Cognitive Support and Wellness Programs. The Dementia Rehabilitation  program gives consumers access to weekly individualised balance and strength training conducted by physiotherapists  in the comfort of their home. Assessments at commencement, and re-assessments during and on completion of the program ensure clients are on the right track.

The program also includes support and education for clients’ families and care partners to help those in support roles who may be struggling.

Encara General Manager, Melanie Kerslake, stressed the program focused on the independence and well-being for clients and their loved ones, to support ageing in place.

“It gives people opportunities to retain or regain skills and activities they may have lost or be at risk of losing.”

Encara accepts all referrals including self-referrals, family referrals or health professional referrals from General Practitioners (GP), specialists, care partners and other allied health professionals. Eligibility criteria for the program states clients much be:

  • Over the age of 65
  • Experiencing cognitive decline or have a dementia diagnosis
  • A resident living in the communities of the Mornington Peninsula or City of Casey regions

This program will run until June 2024.

Download a referral form here or visit their website here. Alternatively, send all referrals and enquiries to dementia@encara.com.au or call 1300 761 965.

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