Catholic Homes and members of a research team at Curtin University have presented the findings of an innovative approach to care that has proved to have great benefits for both staff and residents, at the annual Australian Association of Gerontology Conference, held today at Crown Plaza, Perth.
The Care with Purpose ethos is based on Montessori principles, together with Catholic Homes’ values of Joy, Love and Hospitality, to ensure residents are active, involved and supported to live life to the full.
The presentation at the conference focused specifically on the Fleming Project which has taken place Castledare Village in Wilson. Fleming is a memory support unit for 17 residents who live with dementia.
During the presentation, Senior Occupational Therapist, Elizabeth Oliver, who leads Care Innovation for Catholic Homes, talked about how fundamental aspects of the approach include a prepared environment, meaningful activities and purposeful job roles.
A research team from Curtin University, consisting of Dr Jade Cartwright, Associate Professor Anne Whitworth, Dr Michelle Bennett, Emma Wrobel and Rose Dekker, have begun analysing the benefits using a range of assessments and interviews.
Results demonstrate numerous benefits of the care model, such as greater freedom and choice for residents, residents being more involved in daily routines and positive changes to the environment. The care innovation has been shown to positively affect staff attitudes and has led to an increase in job satisfaction, with staff now finding work more enjoyable and person centred.
The success of this project demonstrates how the culture of care for those living with dementia can be transformed, restoring dignity and purpose to residents. Further analysis will take place to determine outcomes for residents, families and the environment.