Family, ‘informal’ or unpaid carers are an increasingly visible section of our community. They have been recognised by successive governments as providing an essential service. If unpaid care were to cease, service systems would not cope, nor would the national budget. Rethinking carer services and supports is well overdue in Australia. Could supports could be reconfigured into more individualised and effective services?
This presentation will explore caring styles and propose that evidence-informed, individualised, proactive services not only support carers, but may benefit those whom they support and make good financial sense for the country.
Thinking back, Tully remembers signs much earlier than when she received her diagnosis, which was put down to stress or being over-worked. It began with the little things. But it was her changes in personality that were the most drastic. Being angry all the time and quick to start an argument or lose her temper.
Considerable debate has taken place about the form and function of “nursing” in dementia and aged care. This discussion usually comes with an assumption that nurse equals compassionate people who provide quality clinical care and are excellent managers. But do these skills and qualities go together and can we expect all aged care nurses to provide this? Is the word nurse being used to shorthand the care, compassion and knowledge we want in the support of older citizens and is less about the discipline of nursing? With the number of nurses decreasing internationally what is the future role of nursing in dementia care, where is nursing knowledge and skill most valuable. When does a person with dementia need the skills of a nurse and when do they need a person?