March 2021 has been another busy month for us. Here are some of our key updates.
Aged Care Royal Commission and My Dementia Companion
After over 2 years of consultation and hearing some heart-felt stories, the Aged Care Royal Commission delivered its final report. The lengthy reports are designed to create substantial reform in aged caree. Many of the issues and pain points identified were the reason why we created My Dementia Companion. We hope all stakeholders, including us, can work hard to a brighter future for all people impacted.
Of the 148 recommendations, we align with ~30 covering dementia, carer empowerment and support, professional support and innovation. You can read more about our thoughts here.
Continue kicking goals - winning CareFactor
We are so excited to be the winning team of the 2021 CareFactor Aged Care Startup Accelerator, which aims to spur innovation in aged care. We accepted our win at the ITAC 2021 conference and it means a lot to the team, who have worked so hard.
We would like to thank all My Dementia Companion's volunteers, advisors/ mentors, dementia professionals and people impacted by dementia for all your ongoing support.
We are looking forward to the next chapter, where we will support even more people impacted by dementia to live well.
Please see our post below and also the article about us in the Australian Ageing Agenda.
Topic update: difficulties with personal care and hygiene
The Alzheimer’s Society UK has made some sizable changes to their support information, guidance and tips to managing difficulties with personal care and hygiene. We have updated our Topic: “Difficulties with John's personal care and hygiene” accordingly to reflect:
more information and tips on managing challenges with washing, bathing and showering. This also covers information on aids and equipment, looking after skin and nails, and washing, drying and styling hair. We have updated this link in our Section called “Bathing, showering and washing”
More detailed information on refusing to dress or wash. This link has been newly added to the Section called “Resistance-to-care, or refusing to dress or wash”.
We hope this new updated information is helpful to you.
Section update: Sleep and caregiving
Sleep is very important. Unfortunately, caring for a loved one with dementia can make it hard. Carer Gateway has released a new online short course on how to achieve better sleep for family and friend carers. We have included it in our new Section “Sleep and caregiving” under the Topic: “Looking after John's health and well-being”.
You can find this by browsing for the Topic or search for “Sleep” under the “More Topics” tab:
A fresh new look: Useful?
As you may know, we only have one mission - create a very useful tool for all people impacted by dementia. And with over 1,000 pieces of support information, we want to make sure you receive what’s relevant for you. This means we want to make it as easy for you to share your thoughts as possible, so we continuously improve.
This led us to creating a new feature for you to share with us what information works and what information doesn’t:
You can click on the “Useful?” link within each Section
A pop-up will open for you to rate and provide feedback on each of the Sections. Based on this, we can change the links, update the structure etc., to make this more useful for other carers.
Another fresh new look: tab changes
Based on feedback around the naming of our tabs (namely “Support Inbox” and “More Support”), we have made changes to make them easier to navigate and more user friendly.
From now onwards, the tabs will change from:
For this month, we turn our attention to a Tip on driving from Olivia, who’s looking after her dad:
"My dad was very proud of his car and enjoyed driving. But his vascular dementia made his driving very unsafe for himself and others on the road. My mum used to hide his car keys, which led to many arguments. It was just stressful for both of them.
Because of his blood pressure and stroke, his GP put him on a new pill. Mum got the GP to write a letter to tell him that he can't drive with the new pill, which is saving his life. He uttered some not so nice words, but didn't complain afterwards."
This shows Olivia really understands her father and what makes him tick. This is the essence of person centred care and can make life much easier and the roads much safer in this instance.
This Tip is located in the Sections “How to start the conversation about giving up driving?” under the Topic “Driving and transport with dementia”.