What is dementia care?
Every person is unique, so every person’s experience of living with dementia will be different. It’s important that we get to know each individual, and use our knowledge of the symptoms associated with each type of dementia, in order to best care for and support them.
At Estia Health, our person-centred framework is about building relationships with every individual in our care and forming a partnership between the resident, their family and our team to develop the best plan for their care. There isn’t a one size fits all approach to dementia care, however there are programs and strategies that are proven to help and support a number of people which our homes have adopted.
With nearly 50% of residents in our care living with a diagnosis of dementia, all of our homes and experienced teams are able to provide the required compassionate care and support. A number of our homes have dedicated Memory Support Units with their own gardens and courtyards, which are specially designed or adapted to provide a safe and secure environment for people living with dementia. These people who will often benefit from smaller, more intimate spaces, where daily activities can be more tailored to their needs.
Engaging and meaningful activities
If you or someone close to you has a diagnosis of dementia, our teams will work closely with you to understand your hobbies, past interests and look at opportunities to continue these while living in an Estia Health home. All of our homes offer daily activities for residents to take part in, which are adapted and based on a national lifestyle program developed around ongoing research and knowledge with a focus on supporting people living with dementia.
Across our homes, we focus on offering a range of enriching meaningful activities and alleviating symptoms people living with dementia may experience. This can include activities based around reminiscing, through music or tactile activities like painting which can evoke past memories or stimulate parts of the brain that reduce anxiety and associated agitation. Physical activity also remains an important aspect of dementia support, not only alleviating symptoms but remaining a key aspect of aged care as it helps results retain balance and mobility, reducing the risks of falls and accidents.
Are you caring for someone living with dementia?
As a carer for someone living with dementia, the impact of progressing symptoms can change both your lives dramatically. If you’re a spouse or child caring for someone, it can be challenging to see a change in their abilities and behaviour which can result in grieving as you come to terms with the change in your relationship
The ongoing impacts of COVID-19 are continuing to be felt as carers are still unable to access some services and support resulting in ongoing feelings of isolation and fatigue. It’s incredibly important to seek support for yourself to ensure you’re able to continue to provide care, while looking after your own mental and physical wellbeing.
At Estia Health, all of our homes offer short-term respite care, where someone can come and stay with us for a week or so, giving you much-needed time to rest and recuperate. Visit our respite care page for more information or call us today to see how we can help.
What is dementia?
Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a collection of symptoms caused by disorders or diseases affecting the brain. The most common forms of dementia are Alzheimer’s Disease, Vascular dementia, Dementia with Lewy bodies, Fronto Temporal Lobar Degeneration (FTLD), Huntington's disease, Alcohol-related dementia (Korsakoff's syndrome) and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Dementia is not a normal part of ageing but can sometimes be mistaken or misdiagnosed as the symptoms cause a progressive decline in memory, ability to think and perform everyday tasks and a change in behaviour.
Dementia is now the leading cause of death in Australia for women and the second leading cause of death for men, following coronary heart disease . Although the risk of getting dementia increases as we age, it can affect younger people as early as their 40s and 50s – this is called ‘younger onset dementia’
While there’s currently no cure for dementia, early diagnosis and support can ensure people are able to continue to maintain a good quality of life for as long as possible and still have their needs met as the symptoms progress.
On behalf of my sister and myself I would like to take the opportunity to say thankyou for the care provided @ Estia Health , particularly the Memory Support Unit in Kirribilly. Dad was admitted for respite and due to his current health status transferred to permanent residential care a few weeks later. Dad took a little while to adapt to his new surroundings due to his declining mental state at the time. In due course he was transferred to the Memory Support Unit. Dad received caring, compassionate, respectful care given with a bit of banter and humour that he relished! As health care workers ourselves we are aware of the challenges and personal rewards that the aged care sector staff brings. Special thanks to Josh on his direction of care in Dads terminal stage, to Harry and Shaun for their great sense of humour when caring for Dad (you put a twinkle in Dads eyes!) and to Kelli for your wonderful compassionate care of Dad. To all of the nursing and Care Workers, hospitality ( catering and cleaning ) and volunteers - thank you for your wonderful care of Dad, we will be forever grateful.Trisha and Chris - Family members
I am soooo glad that I found this facility and was able to find a room available for my husband who suffers severe Alzheimers' disease. All the nursing staff treat the residents and their families with great compassion and kindness even through the extra stress caused by the Covid pandemic. They do regular checks and respond promptly to any concerns that I may have. They keep me updated on my husband's welfare by phone and/or email (even including photos). The home and it is a HOME, is clean and comfortable- Wife of resident
My father was a resident at Estia Health Toorak Gardens for approximately 2.5 years until his death. He was very happy to make Estia Health his home and was treated with nothing but kindness and respect throughout. The staff seemed to genuinely like him and tolerated his lapses in behaviour with good humour and professionalism. From my point of view I really enjoyed the genuine friendship shown by the staff. They made my visits a pleasure and I will miss them! The expressions of sympathy following Dad's death and the attendance of a staff member at the funeral were much appreciated.- Daughter
Our family would like to thank Estia Health Salisbury for their kindness and care shown to Stan and our family over the last three months. From the moment we walked through the door we knew we would by happy and comforted to know Stan was in a quality safe and nurturing environment. His room was always well cleaned neat and organised. The meals were (in his words) always too big. So we always knew he was well nourished! The nursing staff were always approachable and efficient in helping Stan and answering our questions in regard to his care and health needs. The lifestyle activities were much appreciated. He is also a big advocate of exercise movement and the inclusion of walking and exercise was of great benefit to his daily routine and general wellbeing. The lovely courtyards also provided Stan many hours spent walking safely and enjoying the sunshine.- Family member
Frequently asked questions
Can anyone diagnosed with dementia, live in an Estia Health home?
People living with dementia can continue to live at home with ongoing care and support from family members or paid carers. People often come to us as their dementia is progressing, along with a number of other conditions, making it harder to be cared for at home. At Estia Health, we can support people at any stage, if they have been assessed by an ACAT team to require and be eligible to receive government-funded residential aged care.
Will I have access to a specialist neurologist, geriatrician or psychiatrist?
Often a diagnosis of dementia will take some time and sometimes involve a series of physical and neurological examinations to exclude other illnesses or conditions. An example is blood and urine tests to ensure the underlying cause isn’t an ongoing urine infection, dehydration, or vitamin deficiency, all of which can cause confusion and memory loss.
Your GP is able to make a diagnosis, but it’s likely they will refer you to a neurologist, geriatrician or psychiatrist for ongoing tests that assess cognitive abilities, including memory, language and concentration. When moving into one of our homes, we will discuss your past medical history and requirements and work in partnership with your GP and any other specialists to provide you with the best care and support possible. This will need regular review at meetings, adapted as conditions progress.
Why are ‘sensory’ activities important in dementia care?
As dementia advances and a person loses more cognitive and physical ability, their senses of touch, taste and smell can still remain, therefore there are many activities that can have positive benefits for residents', even when living with advanced dementia. In our Estia Health homes, our teams continue to look at ways to enrich residents lives, at whatever stage of their journey, with pampering, aromatherapy and massage, along with music, as examples of sensory activities they will deliver.
Whether it’s visiting pets, using therapy aids such as robotic animals, painting, massage, art and craft or music as we all know as individuals, we all get our joy, comfort and purpose from different sources, which is why we work closely with you and your family to understand how to provide the best support.
Which resources can I access for help?
There are a number of resources available to support people living with dementia and their carers. Dementia Australia is one of Australia’s leading and provide the following services:
• Information about dementia
• The National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500
• Support groups for people living with dementia and their carers
• Education and other services
Are there different stages to dementia?
Every person’s experience will be different and not every person will go through every stage, but it can be helpful to categorise dementia into three progressive stages:
• Early dementia
• Moderate dementia
• Advanced dementia
Read more about the different stages of dementia.
When you visit one of our homes to take a tour, you can speak to our care team to discuss your diagnosis, any concerns and understand the available care.
Can dementia be treated with medication?
There is sadly no cure for dementia, but medication can be used to alleviate symptoms or for treatment of other underlying diseases. A resident’s GP or specialist will advise our team in consultation with a resident and family members.
When should someone with dementia go into an aged care home?
Dementia is progressive, meaning a person living with dementia will require more care and support as time goes on. As a person’s condition declines, their needs increase and you may not be able to fully meet these needs despite your best efforts.
A person with dementia will need more care and support as their condition progresses, and there may come a time when they will need to move into residential care. There will never be a perfect time, but a person needs 24-hour supervision and support to stay safe and to ensure good quality of life, then it may be the time for them to move into residential care.
Can someone living with dementia access respite care?
Respite care is important in ensuring the emotional and physical wellbeing of a person caring for someone living with dementia. Although as a carer you may be concerned about the impact respite care will have on the person you are providing care for, you will find that respite care is also helpful for them.
While a person living with dementia may initially be anxious about respite care, positivity and forward planning can assist with a smooth transition and a positive experience.
Let us help you with the next steps
What will it cost?
When moving into an aged care home the amount you pay will depend on the home and room you choose, your own circumstances and means to pay for the available care and services. Your accommodation and care costs may be partly or fully covered by the government, which will be determined by a means assessment.
Will it suit my needs?
We have 70+ homes in NSW, QLD, SA and VIC and all offer care for those requiring a short-term of longer stay, as well as helping people requiring urgent care. Our experienced and compassionate teams care for people with a range of complex conditions, including people living with dementia, as well as those requiring palliative and end-of-life-care.
What are the next steps?
Moving home is a big decision, especially when it comes to aged care. Let us guide you through the process step-by-step with the right information at the right time. We will support you from your initial enquiry, answering your questions on the types of care we offer, the costs involved through to when you're ready to move into your new home.
Thank you to our residents and employees that feature on our website.