Our Aged Care Community – sharing 3 good news stories
At Healthcare Australia, we love hearing all the good news that arises every month, here are the top three stories this month!
Muster Dogs stars Frank Finger, Annie, and Lucifer visit Clermont aged care home
Frank Finger and his kelpies Annie and Lucifer who rose to fame on ABC TVs Muster Dogs have moved from just muster dogs to nursing home visitors. The dogs provide companionship and allow the residents who spend most of their time inside to feel engaged. Mr Finger stated, “I’ve been wanting to do it all year, but because of COVID we couldn’t do it until [a few] weeks ago.”
Swapping out the paddocks for the Montcler Nursing Home in central Queensland, the residents were all people who Mr Finger had done business with or were from surrounding properties. The dogs make regular visits to the local home residents were his priority for this reason.
Merle Pryde, 96, a resident, has known Mr Finger since he was a little boy. Merle said, “Some dogs are very shy, they won’t go near anyone they don’t know. But these dogs, they’re very friendly.”
What are the benefits of pet therapy?
Finding ways that engage residents that are tailored to individual needs is important, as stated by diversional therapist Claudia Stephson.
“Pet therapy is wonderful, and some homes have their own dog or cat, but a visit from dogs that you’ve seen on TV that just adds that bit of extra spice.”
Ms Stephson noted that she saw an immediate difference in most residents. The effect that the visit has resides with the residents for weeks after. Ms Stephson said, “the fact that most people know Frank, call him Frankie or knew his mum, know his family, compare notes about cousins — it makes it even more meaningful, and he’s quite a lovely bloke.”
Alzheimer’s disease fails to stop man staying in Yamba community
The Community of Yamba all worked together to care for Clement Strain in his final years. After relocating Mr Strain from Bondi to Yamba 5 years ago, it was apparent Alzheimer’s disease was taking the former solicitor’s ability to live independently.
The village helped gently guide him home to the village when he became confused or disorientated. Mr Strain’s granddaughter stated that there was no way he could’ve maintained his quality-of-life without the help of the community. “We had so many eyes on him at all times that we didn’t feel alone, we felt very supported and that definitely helped keep him out of a home,” Ms Strain said.
After Mr Strain’s passing, the community gathered to remember him.
Sharlene Locke said, “Clem was a big part of our community, and we all had a part in caring for him in different little ways, so he could be still cruise around Yamba safely,”.
Mr Strain’s friend, Sevtap Yuce first met each other in Bondi but got to know him better in Yamba where he would come in for a coffee and to do the crossword.
Sevtap noted that COVID restrictions really impacted his routine, which caused several issues for his memory and getting around the town. “Someone would always recognise him and bring him in to us, and I would walk him home. It was everyone, the bank, the supermarket, everyone had a connection to him.”
Mr Strain’s family also posted his photo on local social media pages to ask people to look out for him. It was a community effort to care for this man, and the family recognised that he wouldn’t have received the same level of care in Bondi.
Virtual reality helping aged care residents with COVID isolation
Virtual Reality (VR) has been utilised by aged care centres to help transport dementia residents into new worlds to engage and stimulate them. The technology helps the residents feel as if they are getting out and experiencing different things, ranging from snorkelling to international travel.
The technology helps the residents relive old memories and reconnect with the experience outside the care centre. During COVID, the technology also provided an escape for the residents to stimulate and engage the residents. It allowed the residents to feel as if they were enjoying the world even though they were still isolated in lockdown.
The Queensland University of Technology led the project after three successful trials in helping aged care residents reconnect during the lockdowns.