Brightwater Care Group officially opened its doors to first trial of the Federal Government’s Specialist Dementia Care Program (SDCP) one year ago.
The program at Brightwater The Village, in Inglewood, was the first of its kind in Australia and cares for clients with severe symptoms of dementia whose needs had not been able to be managed in existing health or aged care settings.
Brightwater CEO, Jennifer Lawrence, said that Brightwater has a long history of specialising in complex dementia needs, but the SDCP pilot was a strong demonstration of the organisation’s unique model of care.
“Dementia is the second leading cause of death in Australia and we recognised that there was an opportunity to change the lives of people living with complex symptoms of dementia.
“The program has a focus on stablishing and reducing a person’s symptoms of dementia over time, with the hope to transition them to a less intensive setting,” she said.
Ms Lawrence said in just one year the program has already shown enormous success, providing a pathway for other units and the industry in Australia.
“We have already had four clients successfully transition out of the program into a less intensive care setting, with three more on a pathway to being discharged.”
David Brosnan’s wife, Sandy, has been part of the SDCP since December of last year and he said the program had been wonderful for her.
“Sandy was diagnosed with dementia at the age of 57, which was 12 years ago.
“She was referred to the program last year and I have seen a huge difference in her. From the day she arrived she has found a sense of peace and is happier,” he said.
“The staff are outstanding. The care she receives and the love that is shown to Sandy is wonderful. Each staff member takes the time to spend genuine time with her and all of the clients.
“We are blessed she has been able to be part of the program.”
Ms Lawrence said client choice, quality of life and participation in meaningful activities was a key priority of the program and families are very much partners in care.
“David is as much part of our SDCP family as Sandy is.
“I am exceptionally proud of our staff who work in the program and feedback from family members like David is great for them to hear.”
There are now 10 SDCP units open across Australia, following the success of the Brightwater pilot.