This February on Twitter – Aged Care wrap up

Every month we round up some of most popular topics in Aged Care on twitter. This month’s top tweets dealt with some pretty heavy issues, such as the need for a national body to investigate cases of elderly abuse, and calls from the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) for improvements in working conditions and resident care.

On a more uplifting note, WA Governor Kerry Sanders officially opened Amana Living, a transitional care facility for older people living with dementia, one aged care worker shares their relatable story in “The secret life of a dementia carer”. And could the colour of their plates be the key to helping your residents with dementia eat more, or could music projects cut the cost of dementia care? We present two stories suggesting so.

Calls for protections for elderly Australians from family exploitation

Aged care, legal and welfare experts gathered in Melbourne for the National Elder Abuse Conference in February, organised by Seniors Rights Victoria. Its manager, Jenny Blakey, has stated an estimated 5 per cent of elderly Australians are victims of emotional, physical, or financial abuse by a family member or close friend, and has called for an organisation to oversee, and investigate when necessary, the treatment of older Australians.

ANMF calls for dignity in the aged care industry

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) has called on its members and all workers in the aged care industry to make submissions to the Senate Community Affairs Committee’s inquiry on the future of Australia’s aged care workforce. At the heart of ANMF’s concerns is their request the Senate Committee makes it regulation that a registered nurse be present 24/7 in all stand-alone aged care facilities, highlighting the dangers of unqualified staff caring for frail residents with high care needs.

The secret life of a dementia carer

“Are caring people prone to being taken advantage of in the world of work – being exploited emotionally, mentally, physically and sometimes financially? I am a live-in care worker, and I believe the answer is a resounding yes.”

WA Governor opens Bull Creek Amana Living

The new Amana Living centre in Bull Creek was opened by Her Excellency the Honourable Kerry Sanderson AO. The purpose-built centre provides the facilities, equipment and skilled staff to help people with dementia and other mental health challenges recover from their stay in hospital before returning home or moving into permanent residential care.

Brighter plates lead to healthier appetites

After watching her grandmother’s Alzheimer’s disease take hold and her health decline, industrial designer Sha Yao decided to turn her attention to helping her eat. Through years of research and volunteering at various senior care facilities, Yao noticed that many dementia sufferers are reluctant to eat, as much of it fell to the floor or on their clothes. Coupled with this was the fact that many patients found it hard to focus on their food or know where it was when it was served on a white plate. Yao designed tableware in colours that contrast the meals served, with different colours for the plates’ and bowls’ rims, and which made scooping at right angles easier for residents.

Could music projects cut the cost of dementia care?

Manchester Camerata orchestra is pioneering music projects in care homes, and the effects are having some promising outcomes, with formerly mute dementia patients reportedly singing and speaking, and others showing signs of increased activity and mood.

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