It seems like this unique service is something that could be replicated in other areas and states, once funding support is received. This would be much cheaper than residential care so often forced upon people because the respite choices are either not available, or are inadequate to the person due to issues such as age of the person with dementia or locality. Studies clearly support people want to live in their own homes, for as long as possible, and this style of mobile respite could be the answer for many families, individuals or couples.
“AN INNOVATIVE program to provide respite and support to dementia patients and their carers is achieving outstanding results in the Bega Valley.
The Mobile Respite Service is run by Alzheimer’s Australia NSW and is the only one of its kind in the state.
On Monday an independent assessment into the service was launched, which showed not only the value of mobile respite in the Bega Valley, but the need for this type of delivery method in other rural areas.
The service provides individualised support and intervention for the care recipient and their carer mostly in a home environment. The service can delay the transition of a dementia patient to institutionalised care by several years and significantly improve the health outcomes for the carer.
By delivering the service with a two-person team, Nola Hergenhan and June Madden, one person focuses on the carer and the other on the care recipient.
Tonia Jauncey spoke at the launch to give a personal account being a carer. “My husband Arden is now in a care facility, but I was able to keep him at home for at least two to three years longer thanks to visits from Nola and June.
“I was stretched to the limit and I had no-one to turn to when I came in contact with the service.”
“My husband was in denial about his health, but he really took to June and it made every transition we’ve been through so much easier.
“Nola and June are compassionate and supportive and I can’t even imagine where I would be now without the service,” she said.
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