Creative ways to Care

A NEW program assisting carers of dementia in the region will begin in Two Wells from October 31.

The program, Creative Ways to Care, educates and trains carers in order to provide and manage the care and responsibility of someone living with dementia.

Carers SA are offering the unpaid carers the opportunity to receive practical and creative strategies over a six-week period, which will be held at the Old Council Chambers  (between the Public Library and Information Centre) on Old Port Wakefield Road.

The half-day sessions of Creative Ways to Care were purposely developed by Diversional Therapists specialising in dementia care for assistance to family and friends who volunteer their time to care.

The series of workshops are free and present ways to use everyday activities to connect, have fun and share meaningful time with the person with dementia.

It focuses on techniques including using music, reminiscing and creative hands on activities.

As well as the creative strategies the workshop allows for people to exchange ideas, receive support and inspiration from other carers.

Carers Australia trainer, Sue Newnham, said the reaction has been positive.

“The benefits can be very significant for both the carer and person with dementia,” she said.

Sue said the sessions answer various side effects of dementia sufferers.

“It will address some of the changed behaviours such as wandering, restlessness, repetitive questioning, repeating tasks and lack of motivation.”

An estimated 298,000 Australians had dementia in 2011, and 70 per cent lived in the community. Dementia is the single greatest cause of disability in older Australians (aged 65 years or older) and the third leading cause of disability burden overall.

FACTS

• Australia faces a shortage of more than 150,000 paid and unpaid carers for people with dementia by 2029

• Total direct health and aged care system expenditure on people with dementia was at least $4.9 billion in 2009-10

The next workshops will be held in Two Wells on Friday, October 31 – contact SA Country Carers 1300 686 405.

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