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A walk to remember

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A walk to remember

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									                                          A walk to
                                          remember
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Milestones
Issue 4 December 2009

In this issue:

Dementia impact on lesbians and gay men Page 4
A new era in volunteering Page 5
                                        Mind Matters
                                        Craig Masarei – Chairman, Alzheimer’s Australia WA


                                          I am continually encouraged at the level
                                          of support this organisation receives even
                                          when times are tough.



The past year has been both                  More details of the organisational
rewarding and at the same time               highlights and financial figures are
challenging for Alzheimer’s Australia        contained in our 2009 Annual Report.
WA.                                          This is available by contacting us on
                                             (08) 9388 2800 or online at
The global financial crisis that has         www.alzheimers.asn.au
affected almost everyone has meant
that we had to continue delivering           Centre of Excellence update
quality services to people living with       Despite this year’s losses, the
dementia under immense financial             organisation’s goal of establishing a
pressure.                                    Centre of Excellence in Dementia Care
                                             at Curtin University of Technology’s
It is during these times that we             Bentley campus remains on track.
are deeply indebted to our many
supporters who have put our cause            With dementia becoming the health              Alzheimer’s Australia WA Chairman
above theirs.                                challenge of the 21st century, it is         Craig Masarei, presenting a Life Member
                                             our belief that the new Centre will be         pin to retiring Hon. Medical Director
I know that with your continued              critical in addressing this dementia                   Dr Alan McCutcheon.
support, this organisation can               epidemic. As the leader in dementia
approach the new year with greater           care, the new Centre will build
confidence.                                  capacity in others through research,       Alan McCutcheon who announced his
                                             best practice and education.               retirement from the role at the 2009
Annual General Meeting                                                                  AGM.
As I reported at the recent annual           Election of Directors results
general meeting, the organsiation            Tony Ramshaw, Jenny Watt and Craig         Dr McCutcheon has been with the
recorded a loss of $534,482 during           Masarei were elected to the board.         organisation for the past 21 years.
the year mainly due to a reduction in                                                   He has given numerous public
the value of its investment portfolio,       Life Member                                lectures on behalf of the organisation
a loss on operational activities             The organisation presented a Life          and has shared his expertise in the
(providing services) and a continued         Member pin at the AGM to former            medical field with us. He is also a Life
investment in new service programs.          president Lynette Chester.                 Member of the organisation and was
                                                                                        presented with his Life Member pin at
Its investment portfolio, like many          Ms Chester was part of a small band        the AGM.
others, suffered a significant loss          of dedicated volunteers who founded
and many of the gains made in                the organisation, nursed it through        The Board, management, staff and
recent years, were lost. However,            its early years, gave it the credibility   volunteers wish Dr McCutcheon the
unlike many other organisations, the         it needed and secured HACC                 very best for the future.
organisation has not had to reduce           funding to employ staff. In 1992, the
its activities and curtail its services      organisation’s premises in Shenton         Merry Christmas
but is managing its cash flow more           Park was named after her mother            On behalf of the organisation, I wish
carefully.                                   Mary Chester who had lived with            you and your family a safe and merry
                                             dementia for some years.                   Christmas and a happy New Year.
This includes taking steps to review
its investment portfolio, improve its        Hon. Medical Director retires              I hope you enjoy reading this issue of
budgeting practices and put greater          The organisation would like to pay         Milestones and I look forward to your
priority on its fundraising activities.      tribute to Hon. Medical Director Dr        continued support in 2010.



2 Milestones Alzheimer’s Australia WA
A walk to remember
More than 400 people walked nearly 4000 laps of honour at the inaugural
Memory Walk as a symbol of support for people living with dementia in WA.

The Walk, which was held on 20
September to mark World Alzheimer’s
Day, also raised $72,000 in donations
to assist Alzheimer’s Australia WA to
provide critical services to more than
22,000 Western Australians who have
dementia.

Walking 1,900 kilometres on the day,
participants received a “memory”
flag each time they passed the finish
line.

By the end of the day 4,000 flags
were planted to honour people living
with dementia and in memory of
family and friends.

Two people, Elizabeth Barnes and
Eddie Jagger, who were part of
a large group from Albany, each
walked 42 kilometres - equivalent to
the distance of a marathon!

Age was no barrier on the day as
well. Five-year-old Zion Williams
walked seven laps (3.5km) while          Participants were given a flag each time they completed a lap around the oval in memory of a
81-year-old Carmen Strugnell walked            loved one or friend with dementia. More than 4000 flags were planted on the day.
14 laps (7km)!
                                         He thanked all who participated or
However, the most inspiring walkers
                                         sponsored the walkers and hoped
were those people who have
                                         more would get involved in next
dementia.
                                         year’s Memory Walk.

Symbolic reminder
                                         “We aim to have 1,000 walkers next
Alzheimer’s Australia WA Chief
                                         year and plant many more thousands
Executive Officer Frank Schaper
                                         of flags as we strive to make an
said the walk was a show of public
                                         even bigger statement in raising
support for people living with
                                         the awareness of dementia in the
dementia in this State.
                                                     ”
                                         community, he said.

“Every lap walked and every flag
                                         For more photos and details about
planted served as a reminder of loved
                                         how to get involved in next year’s
ones and friends who had to live with
                                         Memory Walk, visit:
         ”
dementia, he said.
                                         www.memorywalkwa.com.au

Supporters acknowledged                  Thanks to our Memory Walk partner:
Mr Schaper acknowledged the
outstanding support of Memory
Walk partner, Curtin University of
                                                                                            People of all ages helped to raise funds
Technology, who provided the use of
their facilities at no cost.                                                                     and awareness of dementia



                                                                                              Alzheimer’s Australia WA Milestones 3
Dementia impact on
lesbians and gay men
In his foreword to Alzheimer’s Australia’s paper “Dementia, lesbians and gay
      ,
men” Justice Michael Kirby said that lesbians and gay men face particular
challenges in dealing with the impact of dementia.

                                                                                             Case study
                                                                                        Two women who had lived together
                                                                                        for some years were admitted
                                                                                        to residential care and placed in
                                                                                        adjoining rooms and treated as a
                                                                                        couple by staff.

                                                                                        Jean had dementia, while Sally, who
                                                                                        had been providing care at home,
                                                                                        was now physically frail.

                                                                                        However, Jean’s adult son demanded
                                                                                        that staff separate the two as he
                                                                                        insisted his mother ‘was not a
                                                                                        lesbian’.

                                                                                        He also requested that they not be
                                                                                        placed at the same dining table or sit
                                                                                        together in the lounge area.

      The needs of lesbians and gay men living with dementia has been highlighted       Staff complied with his requests and
             in a new Alzheimer’s Australia paper released in Novemeber.                both women were very distressed.


Justice Kirby said that because              “However, we must face reality and
many lesbians and gay men live               be particularly aware of the challenges
alone, have no children and may              faced by all minority groups when
not have a supporting family it is                                 ,
                                             faced with dementia” said Mr
“specially difficult for the person          Schaper.
facing a journey into dementia and
Alzheimer’s disease”   .                     “This paper aims to inform and
                                             enable aged care service providers
Commissioned by Alzheimer’s                  to provide the best care services
Australia, the paper, launched in            possible to a section of people in our
November, explores issues including          community whose needs are often
those for service providers and care         overlooked. ”
workers.
                                             “As an organisation we are continuing
It also looks at the social stigma and       to develop our expertise in supporting
the lack of acceptance of lesbians and       people who, because of their sexual
gay men by fellow residents in aged          orientation, may be facing the
care facilities.                             dementia journey on their own. ”

Chief Executive Officer of Alzheimer’s       Further information                          Deputy Leader of the Opposition and
Australia WA, Frank Schaper said that        To obtain a copy of the paper, visit our          Shadow Minister for Health,
in an ideal world all people would be        website www.alzheimers.asn.au or           Roger Cook MLA launching the “Dementia,
treated equally.                             phone (08) 9388 2800.                       Lesbians and Gay Men” paper in Perth.


4 Milestones Alzheimer’s Australia WA Alzheimer’s Australia WA
A new era in volunteering at
Alzheimer’s Australia WA
Alzheimer’s Australia WA has launched an innovative volunteering program
to enable many more people to become meaningfully involved and engaged
in its work.
CEO, Frank Schaper, said that
Alzheimer’s Australia WA was founded
and run by volunteers for many years.

“I have enormous respect for
the power of volunteers in our
            ,
community” said Mr Schaper.

“Without the generosity of so many
individuals, this organisation would
never have started. ”

Mr Schaper said that the organisation
has launched its new-look volunteer
program to enable more people to
become involved at different levels.

“We take great pride in our positive
culture and the sense of camaraderie
and shared passion that exists
between our staff and volunteers” .

Intensive training
Part of the new volunteer initiative is
a two-day induction program where
volunteers are provided with an
understanding of dementia and how
to interact effectively with people with
dementia.

This will ensure volunteers will
be confident to talk about the             Pamper parlour: Jenny Horsley, who was a former beautician, now volunteers once a week
organisation and be able to interact         treating clients at our Shenton Park day respite centre with a free “pamper” session.
with our clients and the public.

Ongoing support                                                    Volunteer positions
Volunteers will be assigned a
workplace mentor or a “buddy” from         Here are some of the volunteer posititions currently available at
the moment they commence with              Alzheimer’s Australia WA:
the organisation. These mentors
                                           •	 Community guest speaker                   •	 Memory van assistant
will either be an experienced staff
member or volunteer.                       •	 Day centre activity support               •	 Transport assistant (Albany &
                                                                                           Mandurah)
Volunteers who wish to work in direct      •	 Gardening assistant (Albany)
care and support roles with people                                                      •	 Regional events assistant
with dementia will also attend a three-
                                           •	 Day centre handyman (Perth)
                                                                                        •	 Windows and Internet tutor
day nationally recogised course in         •	 Kitchen assistant (Albany)
dementia care.


                                                                                             Alzheimer’s Australia WA Milestones 5
Lotterywest funded Brain
Fitness pilot success
The formal evaluation of Alzheimer’s Australia WA’s Brain Fitness pilot
project has proved a great success according to the participants.
More than 40 people from three
retirement villages and two senior’s
gyms took part in the eight-week pilot
which involved 40 one-hour sessions
in July and August. Most of the
participants were in their 60s and 70s.

The project’s aims were to show
that a brain fitness routine can be
readily incorporated into lifestyles
and routines for people living in
retirement villages and people
already involved in senior’s physical
fitness programs. It sought to
demonstrate that a regular program
of cognitive exercise will reduce the
impact of cognitive decline on the
quality of daily life.
                                             Brain Fitness Pilot Project partipants at the Loftus Recreation Centre reported numerous
Memory outcomes                              lifestyle benefits after finishing the eight-week program.
At the end of the pilot, more than 50
percent of participants reported an          works in the same way that physical
improvement in their train of thought        fitness training benefits the body.
and could remember names and
shopping lists better than before.           Strategic priority
                                             A key strategic priority of Alzheimer’s
Social outcomes
Everyday life improved for
                                             Australia WA is “to promote greater
                                             awareness of dementia and inspire
                                                                                                       Thank you
participants with 50 percent of them         more interest in both maintaining                  Alzheimer’s Australia WA thanks
reported feeling more productive and         healthy brain function and preventing              the following organisations for
socialable while 40 percent of people        dementia” .                                        their partnership and support
said they were sleeping better!                                                                 throughout the pilot project:
                                             Proactive brain fitness training for
                                                                                                •	   Council on the Ageing WA;
The project also demonstrated the            older adults is now recognised
effectiveness of older adults using the      internationally as a way to enhance                •	   Southern Cross Care;
program in a group setting.                  healthy ageing and delay cognitive
                                                                                                •	   RAAF Association WA Aged
                                             decline. However, there has not been                    Care;
“Plastic” brains                             a focus on such training in Australia,
Brain fitness is based on the idea that      despite the nation’s rapidly ageing                •	   Loftus Recreation Centre;
our brains are “plastic” and have the        population and the predicted impact                •	   Exercise for Life East
ability to change in response to new         that age-related cognitive decline                      Fremantle;
learning and stimuli. It challenges the      will have on our social, health and
                                                                                                •	   Curtin University Centre for
notion that we are somehow pre-              economic structures.
                                                                                                     Research on Ageing; and
programmed to inevitable decline in
later life.                                  To meet its strategic priority, the                •	   McCusker Foundation for
                                             organisation has partnered with US                      Alzheimer’s disease research
Research now shows that much of              company Posit Science and now has                  For more information visit
the decline in later life is the result of   more than 500 users of Brain Fitness               www.brainfitnessaustralia.org.au
lifestyle choices and training the brain     programs in WA.                                    or call (08) 9388 2800.



6 Milestones Alzheimer’s Australia WA
Available now from our Library




 It’s never too late to                    Enriched care planning                 Memory Rehabilitation
 change your mind                          for people with dementia               By Barbara A Wilson

 By Dr Michael J Valenzuela                By Hazel May, Paul Edwards and
                                                                                  From renowned authority Barbara
                                           Dawn Brooker
                                                                                  Wilson, this volume reviews state-
 There are practical things that we
                                                                                  of-the-art theory and research in
 can all do to mitigate against the        This up-to-date guide emphasises
                                                                                  memory rehabilitation and their
 course of dementia. Using the             the importance of an individualised
                                                                                  applications in everyday clinical
 latest research, Its never too late       and inclusive approach in dementia
                                                                                  practice. This book incorporates
 to change your mind explains just         care and offers practical steps for
                                                                                  significant advances in the field
 what dementia is and what causes          improving the quality of physical,
                                                                                  that have occurred in recent
 it, and most importantly, what you        social and psychological support
                                                                                  years.
 can do to avoid it.                       for the person through their day
                                           to day experiences of living with
                                           dementia.




New study explores link between
cognitive exercise and Alzheimer’s
A leading research centre has began a    decline and improve quality of life.
new study looking into the benefits of
cognitive exercise and dementia.         It will also investigate the benefits
                                         of such a program on the family
Researchers at the WA Centre for         member or friend.
Health and Ageing (WACHA) are
currently seeking people diagnosed       The study is currently looking for
with Alzheimer’s disease and a family    people who are willing to participate
member or a friend who care for          in the program, once a week, for six
them to participate in this ground-      weeks.
breaking research study.
                                         Assessments of each person’s
The Promoting Healthy Ageing with        thinking abilities and well-being will
Cognitive Exercise – Alzheimer’s         be conducted as part of the study.
Disease (PACE-AD) study will                                                       WACHA Research Officer Sarah Brookes
investigate whether a mental activity    To find out more or to participate in    is part of the team researching the benefits
program, specifically designed for       this research study, please contact          of cognitive exercises on people with
people with mild dementia, can           Cheryl Ackoy on 9224 2855 or email                dementia and their carers.
reduce or slow further memory            cheryl.ackoy@uwa.edu.au


                                                                                      Alzheimer’s Australia WA Milestones 7
Workshops and courses 2010
Diary of activities                                                                Activities are free unless
                                                                                   otherwise stated


Family and friends                              Health and aged care staff                              Specialty Topics in Hospital
                                                                                                        Dementia Care
                                                                                                        This workshop is designed for clinical
Understanding Dementia                          Positive Dementia Care                                  staff working in hospitals who may be
A free introductory workshop for people         This free workshop provides the                         responsible for the care of patients with
who know or care for a person with              underpinning knowledge and skills needed                dementia.
dementia.                                       to interact effectively with people who
                                                have dementia.

                                                                                                        Effective Dementia Training
Living with Dementia                                                                                    Becoming a Dementia Champion in
                                                Assistive Technology in                                 the hospital
A follow-on workshop from Understanding
Dementia. This workshop explores
                                                Dementia Care                                           This workshop provides applicable skills,
                                                This free workshop looks at available                   information and resources to acute care
strategies to deal with challenges that
                                                equipment and technologies and explores                 health professionals working with patients
may arise when caring for someone
                                                their uses in dementia care environments.               with dementia. It will enable those with
with dementia.
                                                                                                        a passion for dementia care to become
                                                                                                        workplace role models and education
                                                                                                        resources for work colleagues.

Mind your Mind®                                 Intellectual Disability and
This free workshop covers the seven             Dementia
lifestyle changes you can make now to           This free workshop provides the                         Experiencing Dementia
reduce your risk of developing dementia         underpinning knowledge and skills needed                This free two-hour simulation and
later on in life.                               to interact effectively with people who                 workshop offers people working in aged
                                                have an intellectual disability, such as                care the opportunity to experience first-
                                                Down syndrome, and dementia.                            hand some of the feelings and emotions
                                                                                                        that may be associated with having
                                                                                                        dementia.
Reminiscence and Life
Stories
This free workshop provides participants        Building and Interior Design                            For dates, times and venues, please call
with the knowledge and skills to engage         for Dementia                                            (08) 9388 2800 during office hours or visit
in reminiscing and create a life story book     This workshop provides an overview of                   www.alzheimers.asn.au
with a person with dementia, with the           the principles of best-practice building and
support of their family and friends.            interior design for environments that will
                                                be used by people with dementia.




Successful Mobility for People
with Dementia                                   Effective Dementia Care in
This practical workshop provides family         Hospitals
members and friends with strategies             This free interactive workshop provides
to promote and maintain mobility and            information and strategies for all staff
independence for a person with dementia.        working in acute care to provide effective
                                                person-centred care to patients with
                                                dementia.



                                                                                                        Front cover: 4000 flags containing messages
                                                                                                        of love were planted at the Memory Walk to
                                                                                                        remember those living with dementia.


As Australia’s oldest and         Milestones Editor                                                            Alzheimer’s Australia WA
largest dementia organisation,    Joel Chan, Senior Coordinator Public Affairs                                 9 Bedbrook Place, Shenton Park WA 6008
Alzheimer’s Australia WA is
at the forefront of dementia      joel.chan@alzheimers.asn.au                                                  PO Box 1509, Subiaco WA 6904
care services, with world-class   Disclaimer                                                                   Tel: (08) 9388 2800
research, risk reduction and      Articles in this publication provide a general summary of the subject        Fax: (08) 9388 2739
education and training programs   matter covered. Any person with dementia should seek professional
designed to meet the challenge    advice about their specific case. Alzheimer’s Australia WA is not liable
of what has been described by     for any error or omission in this publication. Permission should be
                                                                                                               Dementia helpline
Access Economics as “a national   sought from the Editor before reproducing articles and/or images.            1800 100 500
dementia epidemic”   .            Should permission be given, the source must be acknowledged.



8 Milestones Alzheimer’s Australia WA

								
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