Living with dementia: Newsletter of Alzheimer's Australia ACT, Autumn 2012
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Living with dementia: Newsletter of Alzheimer's Australia ACT, Autumn 2012

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  • 1. FIGHTING ALZHEIMER’S FOR AUSTRALIA LIVING WITH DEMENTIA NEWSLETTER OF ALZHEIMER’S AUSTRALIA ACT AUTUMN 2012 THE SUN SHINES FOR AlzACT OPEN DAY After all the rain in early March we all breathed a sigh of relief when the sun came out for our Annual Open Day on March 14. This year our focus was on Healthy Living and what we can do to maintain a healthy brain and body. We invited St Michael’s Primary School, Kaleen to join us on the day and they sent a group of 30 children. The children participated in our walking and singing groups and joined in all the activities of the Feature Story Page day. AlzACT staff received many comments from visitors on the day AlzACT Open Day 1 about how much they enjoyed the children’s company. Visitors were able to join in activites including a walking group, News art table, computer brain training and Zumba. They also had Michael Valenzuela the opportunity to have a massage from our friends at Clinic 88; at Dementia Network 2 makeovers by Beryle of Mary Kay cosmetics; listen to a talk on Mind Your Mind® talk; enjoy a demonstration by the Silver Sole Cloggers, listen to our Friday singing and poetry group, have a free coffee and e-Health Records Coming 5 gelato and a sausage sizzle. A great day was had by all. New Medical Standards for Vehicle Drivers 6 (More photos of the day on page 9) Alzheimer’s Research Report Released 7 What’s New 8 Staff News 10, 11 Diary Dates 12 AUTUMN 2012
  • 2. NEWS MICHAEL VALENZUELA COMES TO DEMENTIA NETWORK ACT Dementia Network special presentation on 21 March entitled ‘Regeneration & Degeneration of the Brain featured special guest speaker Dr Michael Valenzuela. Dr Michael Valen­ uela is an Associate Professor at the Brain & z Mind Research Institute, University of Sydney. He is also the Leader of the Regenerative Neuroscience Group. During his presentation Dr Valenzuela talked about his current research which is aimed at further understanding the competing forces of neuroplasticity and degeneration in the human brain and how these can either lead to, or help prevent dementia. The audience were urged to ‘maintain their brains’ using the ‘three keys’ of mental, social and physical activity. Dr Valenzuela’s book ‘Maintain Your Brain’ addresses all the common (and not-so- common) questions people have about dementia, and explains complex cutting-edge medical discoveries in a way that is clear and easy to understand. He covers topics such as blood pressure, diet and cholesterol, mental activity and physical exercise. It contains simple tips, summaries and even recipes, all aimed at helping the reader enjoy a healthy and active life well into old age. Copies of Dr Valenzuela’s book are available for members to borrow from the AlzACT Library. Disclaimer About Us Board Articles in this publication provide a Alzheimer’s Australia ACT provides Michael Pedler - Chairperson general summary only of the subject education, support, advocacy and Trevor Wheeler - Treasurer matter covered. Any person with information for the thousands of dementia should seek professional Canberrans and their families living Jane Allen - CEO advice about their specific case. with dementia. Michael Doyle - Member Alzheimer’s Australia ACT is not Greg Fraser - Member liable for any error or omission in Our vision is for a society committed this publication. Permission should to the prevention of dementia, while Jeff Lamb - Member be sought from the Editor before valuing and supporting people living reproducing articles. Once permission is with dementia. given the source must be acknowledged. Alzheimer’s Australia ACT does not To find out more about us and endorse any products, opinions or the services we provide, visit services of any description. or call the National Dementia Helplinee on 1800 100 500. 2 AUTUMN 2012
  • 3. NEWS Alzheimer’s ACT and National Office staff ‘hit the streets’ in Garema Place on Valentine’s Day THANK YOU FOR VALENTINE’S DAY CARDS Valentine’s Day 2012 was a very special opportunity for people living with dementia to get their message across to our political leaders. It was yet another turning point for Alzheimer’s Australia in the Fight Dementia Campaign. Thousands of Valentine’s Day cards arrived on the doorsteps of our political leaders. Our supporters sent in their messages of support with the cards, popping the question: what would you do if your loved one couldn’t remember you? Cards were sent to the Prime Minister, Minister Swan, Senator Wong, Mr Abbott, Mr Robb and Mr Hockey, urging them to invest $500 million over five years for dementia awareness, early diagnosis, care and support, risk reduction and investment in research in the 2012 Federal Budget. None of this would have been possible but for the wonderful partnerships Alzheimer’s Australia has with other organisations. Thank you to all the organisations who joined the fight, including The Australian Nursing Federation, Carers Australia, Dial an Angel, Uniting Care, Bupa and Hammond Care. With your support, and the support of the wider community, we managed to bombard our politicians with cards in time for Valentine’s Day. story continued over LIVING WITH DEMENTIA 3
  • 4. NEWS VALENTINE’S DAY continued from previous page We have been so fortunate in having pro bono assistance from Porter Novelli in developing the concept of Valentine’s Day cards and use of the social media. The day was further proof that the new brand works really well in getting the fight dementia message across to the wider community. It was a wonderful opportunity for CEOs of Alzheimer’s organisations to hit the street with their staff in popular locations around the country. Our aim was to encourage the wider community to join the fight by filling out a card. The day was a success! We collected a further 2000 cards, which were sent to Parliament House that afternoon. We also encouraged visitors to our website, with February 14 seeing the third highest number of visitors in one day this year. Our TweetReach for @AlzheimersAus was 88,873 people via 226 tweets and in the week leading up to the big day our activity on Facebook reached almost 300,000 people. Each of our political leader’s offices confirmed receipt of the cards and are now working out how to respond to our campaigners. And, on Valentine’s Day Tony Abbott posted on twitter his thanks for the many cards he received. To keep up to date, follow us on twitter@ AlzheimersAus. For photos of the day go to the Fight Dementia Facebook page: fightdementia. To show your support of the campaign, sign up as a dementia champion at 4 AUTUMN 2012
  • 5. NEWS eHEALTH RECORDS COMING SOON The countdown is on to July this year when Australians can start registering for an eHealth record. For the first time in Australia a national eHealth records system will be introduced, giving every person the opportunity to register. An eHealth record is expected to particularly benefit Australians living with chronic conditions, seniors, new mothers, carers and Australians living in rural areas. Your personally controlled electronic health, or eHealth record is a summary of your health information and events, such as a stay in hospital, GP visit or details of medical tests. It will also contain important information such as any medication you may be taking or allergies you may have. This means no longer having to remember every vaccination, test result or medication you are prescribed. Healthcare professionals will also have faster access to this summary information giving them more time to treat you, and to make the best informed decisions about your health needs. July is just a starting point for Australia’s eHealth system, which will grow as more individuals and healthcare organisations sign on. Healthcare organisations, such as GP practices, hospitals and pharmacies will be upgrading their systems over time to help better manage your/patients’ health information which, with your consent, will ultimately lead to better health outcomes. Further details, including information on registration will be made available over the coming months. For more information visit AlzACT EASTER RAFFLE WINNERS Our Easter Raffle was drawn by our impartial visitor, Glen Klien of Centrelink on Tuesday 3 April. Our lucky winners were: 1st Prize - M Murphy 2nd Prize - B Marteniello 3rd Prize - L Hodge 4th Prize - K Teague 5th Prize - M Warugevitanu 6th Prize - M Hodgkinson 7th Prize - J Takiari Our thanks to all those who bought tickets to support our work here at AlzACT. LIVING WITH DEMENTIA 5
  • 6. NEWS NEW MEDICAL STANDARDS FOR VEHICLE DRIVERS Changes encourage regular monitoring of drivers with dementia On the 1st March this year the National Transport Commission and Austroads released the new medical standards for driver licensing – Assessing Fitness to Drive. The standards, which were last updated in 2003, have been substantially revised with input from general practitioners and medical experts, as well as from consumers and driver licensing authorities throughout Australia. The aim has been to continue to improve road safety while ensuring people can maintain their independence for as long as possible. Not surprisingly, a key issue considered during the review has been the management of older drivers, including those with dementia. A specific working group, with representation from Alzheimer’s Australia, was formed to guide the development of the revised medical criteria and the provision of more comprehensive information to support assessment and management of these drivers. There is a significant change in the standard for dementia, which has been introduced to support regular monitoring of this progressive condition. All drivers with a diagnosis of dementia will be required to be assessed for a conditional licence and to have annual medical reviews for licensing purposes. This doesn’t mean that these drivers will have to have special tests or on-road assessments, but it does mean that each year they will have a medical review that specifically considers the progression of their condition and how it might affect their driving ability. These annual reviews also provide an opportunity for the treating health professional and the driver’s family to have conversations about preparing for non-driving in the future so that the person does not suddenly have to come to terms with loss of their licence. For people with dementia or other age-related changes, early discussion about driving and involvement of the family are important for managing driving and mobility. Other changes evident in the new edition of Assessing Fitness to Drive include: • an increased focus on functionality rather than diagnosis, which supports fairness for drivers; • improved guidance on the role of practical driver assessments; and • inclusion of links to useful sources of information for drivers and families to support the transition to non-driving More information is available on the newly revised Austroads website www.austroads. where a copy of the standards can also be downloaded or purchased. Local driver licensing authorities are also a source of helpful information. 6 AUTUMN 2012
  • 7. NEWS LATEST ALZHEIMER’S RESEARCH PROGRESS REPORT RELEASED 2010 Alzheimer’s Disease Progress Report: A Deeper Understanding, the latest annual Alzheimer’s research report from the National Institute of Health (NIH), was released in February 2012 and is now available online. Prepared by the National Institute on Ageing, which leads the NIH effort conducting and supporting research on age-related cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease, the report highlights important developments and directions in NIH-funded research, including: • risk for developing Alzheimer’s; • genes that play a role in the disease; • neuroimaging and biomarkers that detect and track the disease; • research into new treatments; • lifestyle factors that may either worsen or protect against the disease; and • help for caregivers. Special features include animation showing the progression of Alzheimer’s in the brain and video interviews highlighting new insights into the disease. Available FREE: • Read online or download the report: 2010 Alzheimer’s Disease Progress Report: A Deeper Understanding • Call toll-free 1-800-438-4380 2012 IDEA AWARDS The International Dementia Excellence Awards (IDEA) are designed to recognise organisations and individuals who have worked hard to improve the quality of life of people with dementia. The IDEAs are organised by the Dementia Services Development Centre, University of Stirling, UK. The awards will be presented during the ‘Risky Business’, International Dementia Conference, in Sydney, Australia in June 2012. For more information about the conference please visit LIVING WITH DEMENTIA 7
  • 8. WHAT’S NEW THE ENTERTAINMENT BOOKS 2012 HAVE ARRIVED! We are pleased to announce that we are now selling the new 2012 | 2013 Canberra Entertainment™ Books as a fund-raiser for Alzheimer’s Australia ACT. Entertainment™ Books are packed with hundreds of up to 50% off and 2-for-1 offers for the best restaurants, cafes, hotel accommodation, attractions and activities. The new Book is only $55, and you’ll receive $15,000 worth of valuable offers until 1 June 2013. So you can choose what you want to do and when you want to do it. Plus, the good news is that $11 of your Book purchase goes towards our fund-raising! Here are just some of the organisations making valuable offers in the new Book! HAVE A HAMBURGER IN APRIL FOR ALZHEIMER’S Grill’d has created Local Matters which is their community donation program. Every month a local Grill’d will donate $500 to the local community. Their aim is to find and support the unsung heroes rather than the big groups who always get the limelight. April is our month, so we hope as many people as possible get down to Grill’d Belconnen to support Alzheimer’s Australia ACT. How it works ... It involves bottle tops, jars & counting… The $500 will be split amongst 3 local groups. Each group will be represented on a different jar. Every time a customer buys a burger they are given a token and then choose who they would like to support by which jar to put their token in. At the end of the month, they count up the tokens and split the money $300 / $100 / $100. So in April tell all your friends and relatives and get down to Grill’d Belconnen at Westfield Belconnen, Benjamin Way, have a healthy burger and put your tokens in the Alzheimer’s Australia ACT jar. Make us April’s ‘unsung heroes’. 8 AUTUMN 2012
  • 9. PHOTO ALBUMALZ ACT OPEN DAY 2012From page 1From Left: Tony in charge of Brain Games, Karen giving a Mind Your Mind presentation, the art table wasa popular activity for all, Elizabeth checking on Frank and the sausage sizzle, the St Michael’s girls get amakeover. DBMAS POSTER REACHES THE ANTARCTIC The Dementia Behaviour Management Advisory Service (DBMAS) in the ACT provides support for people caring for someone with dementia who is demonstrating behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) which are impacting on their care. DBMAS also aims to improve the dementia care capacity of aged care workers, service providers and carers through education. As part of their education service, ACT DBMAS developed the ‘Recognising an Older Person with a Delirum’ poster which has been a great success. Copies have been sent to just about every State and Territory and now we have a copy at the Antarctic! DBMAS can be contact on their National Helpline 1800 699 799.LIVING WITH DEMENTIA 9
  • 10. STAFF NEWS WELCOME CHARISE My Name is Charise Buckley. I did my Registered Nurse training in Goulburn NSW, back when the dinosaurs roamed the earth and then moved to Canberra and started my family. I was at home with the kids for a number of years before returning to work. Prior to coming to AlzACT, I worked at St John’s Ambulance as their Training Manager and first aid trainer for 10 years as well as being part of the volunteers there going out on many different assignments. I then moved to Goodwin Aged Care as an RN, Training Coordinator and OHS officer for two years and then to Calvary Retirement Community as a Senior RN in the high care/extra services wings, amongst other things for another two years. For a short time I was involved with the SES at Hall as a training officer. I like fishing, water skiing, reading books, walking the dog and being with my family and friends. I have four teenage children (two girls and a boy plus my daughter’s partner), all still living at home, which tends to keep me busy when not at work. I have been at Alzheimer’s ACT since July last year working with the Dementia Behaviour Management Advisory Service. My role involves working with clients who have dementia and changed behaviours. We assist care staff and families in both residential aged care facilities and in the community by giving them strategies to best support the person so that positive outcomes can be gained which are beneficial to everyone especially the person living with dementia. OUR NEW EDUCATION MANAGER My name is Karen and I am the Education Manager here at Alzheimer’s ACT. My role involves coordinating dementia education for carers and workers in the aged care and the community sectors in the ACT. I began my journey working within the aged care sector when I was just 5 years old! My mother was a Registered Nurse who worked in a Nursing Home. We would go to work with her in our school holidays and assist the residents with activities like craft, games and singing. I have worked in the aged care and community sectors for 18 years. My main role during this time has been as a Diversional Therapist providing Leisure and recreation programs to various client groups. My other roles have included a Disabilities Support Worker, Physiotherapist Assistant and a piano teacher. I have tertiary qualifications in Leisure and Health, Community Services Management and Training and Assessment. I have taught at Certificate II, III, IV and Diploma level and lectured in Diversional Therapy and other health related topics for over 10 years. My hobbies include spending time with my two young children, playing the piano, watching Jane Austin movies and walking my dog. 10 AUTUMN 2012
  • 11. STAFF NEWSFAREWELL AND THANK YOU Last year we farewelled a familiar face to many at AlzACT with Harold Conway retiring from his ‘regular gig’ as one of our musicians for the Friday singing group. Harold and his wife Sybill joined AlzACT back in the days when we occupied offices at Scullin and after completing a Living with Memory Loss Program. Harold and Sybill then became an integral part of the singing group for over 7 years. Harold, the dulcet tones that came from your trumpet are sorely missed, but we do wish you all the best in your retirement. A big ‘Thank You’ from all of us here at AlzACT. Some of the staff enjoying themselves at the recent Open Day YOUR BRAIN HEALTH TRACKER BrainyAppTM is the only app designed to help you rate and track your brain health. Based on scientific research it gives you more than just brain games...and it’s free. Brain-Heart Health points Share and dare to reflect your initial compare your Brain-Heart dementia risk factor profile Health points with others and help to track your via Facebook. progress over time. Watch the Brain-Heart image grow bigger and Take the Survey to find out brighter as you increase how brain healthy you are. your points over time. Get your top 3 suggested areas for improvement and Have fun with a range of have your results emailed Activities designed to to you. improve your brain and heart health... and increase your points. Keep track of how your Brain-Heart Health points Learn interesting Facts change over time depending about the brain and how on your recent activities. to keep it healthy. Available for iPhone®, iPad®, iPod touch® Brought to you by Alzheimer’s Australia in Android version coming soon partnership with Bupa Health FoundationLIVING WITH DEMENTIA 11
  • 12. DIARY DATES RSVP ESSENTIAL FOR ALL EVENTS PHONE 6255 0722 OR EMAIL ACT.ADMIN@ALZHEIMERS.ORG.AU APRIL Family Carers Information Session ‘Communication’ This program focuses on understanding communication, cultural sensitivity, barriers to communication and the impact of dementia on communication. Date Tuesday, 24 April Cost Free Time 10.00am - 12.00pm. Morning tea included Venue AlzACT, 159 Maribyrnong Avenue Kaleen MAY ACT Dementia & Memory Community Centre ‘Planning for the Future - Public Advocate of the ACT’ A presentation by a representative of the Public Advocate on what to do now to plan for the future, exploring issues such as Enduring Power of Attorney. Date Thursday, 15 May Cost Free Time 10.00am - 12.00pm. Morning tea included Venue AlzACT, 159 Maribyrnong Avenue Kaleen ACT Dementia Network ‘The Care and Treatment of People with Dementia’ Guest Speaker Professor Sube Banerjee Professor Banerjee has more than 90 peer reviewed publications and his main research interests include the qualify of life in dementia and carer research. Date Tuesday, 22 May Cost $35 or $30 for individual AlzACT members Time 1.45pm - 4.00pm. Afternoon tea included Venue Ainslie Football Club Family Carers Information Session ‘Changed Behaviours’ This program focuses on what influences human behaviour and defining changed behaviours in dementia. Date Monday, 28 May Cost Free Time 1.00pm - 3.00pm. Afternoon tea included Venue AlzACT, 159 Maribyrnong Avenue Kaleen JUNE ACT Dementia & Memory Community Centre ‘Safer Communities for Older People’ - ACT Police Representative A seminar to discuss issues such as personal safety, home security and home safety strategies. Date Tuesday, 5 June Cost Free Time 10.00am - 12.00pm. Morning tea included Venue AlzACT, 159 Maribyrnong Avenue Kaleen Family Carers Information Session ‘Leisure & Recreation’ What is an activity? Assessing individual needs and abilities and planning for person-centred activities. Date Tuesday, 26 June Cost Free Time 10.00am - 2.00pm. Light lunch included Venue AlzACT, 159 Maribyrnong Avenue Kaleen For more events and education sessions, please visit out website THANK YOU VERY MUCH ALZ ACT would like to thank the following people and organisations who have generously helped us over the last few months Union Offset Printing Kaleen SupaBarn The Dickson Tradies Club The Silver Sole Cloggers The Southern Cross Club St Michael’s Primary School Kaleen The Ainslie Football Club Frank Catanzariti, Barbara Richardson All our wonderful volunteers Mirinjani Hostel 12 AUTUMN 2012