Shalom day program helps residents with dementia

Shalom, Envigor’s day respite program within Seasons Caloundra, gives Dementia residents and other residents that need extra care a way to stay safe and connected within a community environment.

Not only is Shalom keeping Caloundra residents and their family’s happy, but the program has been recognised on a global stage being named a finalist for Best Dementia Care Programme in the Asia Pacific Eldercare Innovation Awards 2018.

The program was developed to give those residents with higher care needs, especially those living with dementia, a safe space during the day that would help them remain active, socially connected and well cared for.

According to Michelle Boon, Envigor’s Care Services Manager at Seasons Caloundra, Shalom is a place that gives residents living with dementia or recovering from a hospital visit a community space with dedicated carers to ensure their needs are met.

“Shalom is a place in which residents can go and can be assisted during the day with activities and social support. It’s where people can go to receive the care they need in a community setting. They mix with the residents there and the staff. We have activities that they can do, we have schools that come in. In the school holidays, the staff bring in their children and they all play activities and do things together,” says Michelle.

“It means that residents who would not normally be able to stay within a community setting because their care needs being so high that they would need to go into a secure setting like a nursing home can stay with us. People can come out of hospital a lot earlier. We have had a lot of reports from the hospitals saying how beneficial it is to have a place set up that someone can come during the day for that extra support while they are getting better.”

Michelle Drollett, an Envigor Lifestyle Assistant working at Seasons Caloundra, says that the feedback from families is enormously positive.

We do anything from painting to cooking, magazines, art and craft, hand therapy, general conversations about their lives – all sorts of things,” says Michelle.

“A lot of the times the families like the fact that their loved ones are cared for daily and they know that they are safe. They are also having personal interaction with other residents. We have residents in there that have full conversations with each other and we also have other residents who do a lot of sleeping which is fine but there’s that general social balance between all our residents in there.”

Seasons resident Raymond Heward is one such family member who is extremely happy with the care that his wife Shirley – who is living with dementia – enjoys at Shalom.

Shirley goes over to Shalom. I can take her over there every day and that allows me to go out and go shopping, go to the doctor and get medication at the pharmacy. I can go out and have a day fishing if I want to and I know that she is secure,” says Raymond.

“I have one night away respite with my daughter at Pelican Waters and as a result of that we have one carer who stays overnight with Shirley and I know that she is safe and can’t fall out of bed. We have an alarm system to alleviate that. Everything is absolutely perfect here, it’s really wonderful.”

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