9 tips from Group Homes Australia on living, working or caring for older people.

Group Homes Australia is a world-leading model of dementia care, high care, respite and palliative care. Our residents live with dignity and sense of purpose in a small-scale environment.

This is a challenging time for the communities in which we all live and work.

Please find nine (9) tips that Group Homes is sharing with Homemakers and families of our residents, for those living or working in aged care, and for those who are caring for an elderly loved one at home, particularly those living with dementia.

  1. Photo Albums: Where are the old photo albums? Sit and look at the album together reminiscing about family, friends, travel and good memories.
  2. For the love of music: Create a playlist with your family’s favourite music, play the music and listen to the music together, sing together, some of you may even want to dance together
  3. Boxes of old letters and cards: You may have old birthday cards or saved holiday cards in a shoebox, read them or write cards together for upcoming birthdays.
  4. Social connection and FaceTime: It is important to create the opportunity for the wider family to see your loved one, so FaceTime or Skype is a great way to interact with family and friends that can’t visit during this time.
  5. Home Videos: Ask family members and friends to send videos to your phone.  At Group Homes Australia, we can share videos with our Homemakers so they can show your family member when you are not around. At home, you may want to set up the videos on a larger screen like your laptop or tv, so that you and your loved one can watch together.
  6. Get your hands dirty and garden together: Try planting a small plant or seedlings in the garden or pot plant. This can create continual purpose as you and your loved one care for a plant.
  7. Hand Massage: You may want to use a special hand cream or hand sanitiser and massage your family members hands.
  8. Go travelling: Coffee table books of places around the world can be a great way to start conversations of places that are important or listen and share stories of your loved ones travels.
  9. Please try to have some fun: Play a card game, colour in or watch a short movie or YouTube together. It’s important during this time to stay positive and understand that this will pass.

We recommend not discussing the severity of COVID-19 if your loved one is currently living with dementia. The topic could be a trigger and cause distress for your family member. The person may not remember the content of the conversation, but may be left with an anxious feeling.

For further information please don’t hesitate to contact the Group Homes Australia Home Support Office.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your ongoing support as we all manage this challenge with dignity.