Bob Reed, who has dementia, loves peg craft and gets help from support worker Christine Kennafick.For an 83-year-old widower, the social program run by Hastings District Respite Care Services for people with dementia is a godsend.
“We’re so lucky to have this service in Wauchope,” says Bob Reed, whose wife, Betty passed away last year. “These mornings get me out of the house and talking to people. The staff are lovely, caring people.”
Held on Mondays and Wednesdays from 8.30am to 2pm in a centre at Bundaleer Hostel, thesessions are open to Wauchope and district residents 65 years and overwho have been diagnosed with dementia.
The $15 daily fee includes a 2-course lunch, a morning and afternoon cuppa, and pick-up and return home.Butthe Wauchope program needs more participants to remain viable.
With the support ofdedicated staff and volunteers, Bobenthusiastically pursues his favourite hobby, peg craft. His miniature furniture, vehicles and pieces of art have won prizes in the Wauchope Show.
His daughter, Leanne Parker, who’shis principal carer,believes it would be a sad loss for Wauchopeif the service was discontinued.“I can’t speak highly enough about the program and the people who run it.
“Dad has great fun and there’s always a choice of activities for him to get involved in. And, they are always heading off somewhere – they’re having lunch at Dunbogan next week.The thing I appreciate most is that Dad is valued and treated with respect.”
For carers, HDRC Services’ programs provide a regular break from their often-stressful 24/7 role – the chance for some ‘me time’. However, they are not simply a people-minding service.Established in 1986, the not-for-profit organisation is breaking new ground with its dementia program, which aims to keep people with dementia living at home longer.
The program incorporates Montessori principles into activities that encourage and stimulate the individual, increasing their general wellbeing and independence.
“The results have been very encouraging,” saidJulie Dunn, manager of HDRC Services’ dementia respite program.“We know social interaction and meaningful activities keep the person engaged and are critical in slowing memory loss and the progression of their dementia.”
“Our aim is to do everything we can to maintain the person’s independence so they can remain in their home for as long as possible.” For more information,call JulieDunn on 6584 1115.
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