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International Dementia Conference
International Dementia Conference
International Dementia Conference


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22 September 2020
10:30 am - 11:00 am - 22 September 2020

Stories of People with Dementia

Plenary - Plenary Room
Hear the invaluable voices of people living with dementia as they describe their individual experiences of what it means to "Care in the Age of Outrage".
22 September 2020
11:00 am - 12:40 pm - 22 September 2020

Opening Session - Day 2

Plenary - Plenary - Plenary Room

11:00 am

Join Stevie, Conor, Sinead and Colm as they welcome you to Day 2 of IDC2020. 

Stevie is the world's most advanced social robot. He has been designed to live and work in retirement communities, augmenting rather than replacing the role of carers, freeing them up to focus more on person-centric tasks and so improving care outcomes for residents. He has been around the world, being put through his paces in beta pilots all the way from Ireland and the UK, to Italy and the US, constantly learning and improving with help from everyone he's been in contact with. 

Stevie the Robot and Sinead Grennan, CEO of Engaging Dementia will interview Dr Conor McGinn.

11:35 am

Chaired by Pat Sparrow CEO Aged & Community Services Australia (ACSA)

Doctors Kurrle, Macfarlane and McKellar will consider the complexities of meeting the clinical and psycho social needs of people with advanced dementia. Through a panel format they will consider, debate and discuss issues including the dementia diagnosis and what we mean by cognitive functional decline. Through the lens of behaviours and psychological symptoms, they will draw on their collective professional and personal experience to discuss restrictive practices, drug treatments and use of psychotropics. From the experiences and learnings of the Australia's Royal Commission, Dementia Support Australia, the South Australia Oakden experience, Covid 19 and more this panel will be an interactive opportunity to challenge and inform any aged or dementia care practitioner.
22 September 2020
12:40 pm - 1:10 pm - 22 September 2020


Plenary - Plenary Room
22 September 2020
1:10 pm - 3:35 pm - 22 September 2020

Session 2 - Day 2

Plenary - Plenary - Plenary Room

1:10 pm

For an increasing proportion of us, the ability to remain in our own homes as we age depends on having a family member who will provide support and care, particularly for those of us who will develop dementia. 

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. 

1:45 pm

Tomorrow might be better – chaired by Marie Alford, Head of Business Development HammondCare

Tully Smyth was just 14 years old when her mother was diagnosed with younger onset dementia. Now 32, Tully is a social media influencer, journalist, podcast host and a previous contestant on Big Brother Australia.
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.  

The stigma around what a diagnosis of dementia means affected Tully’s life as a teenager. She stopped inviting friends over after school, desperate to keep the family secret and embarrassed about what they might see.

As her dementia progressed these feelings moved to sadness with the family battling to cope and no support network. After placing Kay in a couple of care homes that were not suitable due to distance to travel to visit regularly, or the care environment, Kay finally settled at a care home Hammondville in New South Wales.

In July last year, after a 23-year-long battle, Tully’s beautiful mum, Kay, passed away.  Tully will be sharing her experiences and says “Tomorrow might be better but it also might not, and that's okay. Because we're all in this together.”

Join us to hear Tully’s story.

2:35 pm

Chaired by Leigh Hatcher, Broadcast Journalist and Author

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?

An international panel of nurses will debate and consider this most important of questions as we consider the future of nursing in dementia care. 
22 September 2020
3:35 pm - 4:00 pm - 22 September 2020


Plenary - Plenary Room
22 September 2020
4:00 pm - 6:15 pm - 22 September 2020

Closing Session - Day 2

Plenary - Plenary - Plenary Room

4:00 pm

‘Old Holland to New Holland – renewing the Dutch connection’ (45 minutes)

Themes: Nursing home physicians/ medical leadership, small scale living in large buildings, value-based nursing training

Wilco Achterberg, elderly care physician and professor of elderly care Medicine, Topaz Leiden and Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden the Netherlands
Susan Kurrle, Professor of geriatrics, Sydney
Lia de Jongh, CEO of Topaz nursing home organisation, Leiden
Martine Hereur, director of Dementia Expertise Center Topaz, Leiden

Session Moderator: Susan Kurrle

Just as in Australia, the Netherlands have several challenges in the care of the frailest old people. The Netherlands has been very fortunate to have had a very good insurance system for long term care, which provided good funding for nursing home care. In a typical Dutch Nursing home you can find, next to nurses, therapists like physiotherapists, occupational therapists, psychologists, dieticians and nursing home physicians. In 1989, a 2 year post graduate medical training program started, and ‘nursing home physician’ became an officially recognised medical specialism.  Now, the program is 3 years, with attention also to care in the community. In this presentation, the training program is discussed, and the effects it has on the care in nursing homes. For instance, there is a very low transition rate of nursing home patients to the emergency room and a very low hospitalisation rate. The training modules will be presented in a separate session, but we will discuss the medical leadership in nursing homes- What may be feasible in Australia?

Presenters: Wilco Achterberg, Lia de Jongh

The standard now for personalised homelike care for people with dementia in residential care is small (8-12) group housing. However, most facilities still have old larger buildings, and it is not financially feasible for all of them to build new facilities within a few years.  However, it is possible to redesign old style large scale buildings so that in fact small scale group care can be delivered. We will show a case from a Topaz nursing home in Leiden. Next to the design of the environment, we were not satisfied with the old-style education that our nurses received and that was too much based on providing ADL care. Based on video footage, we will talk you through our ideas.

Presenters:  Martine Heruer, Lia de Jongh, Wilco Achterberg

Together with some other facilities, Topaz decided to develop a different trainings program, based on the idea that nursing home care, especially for people with dementia, is about adding value and quality of life. What may be feasible in Australia?

:  Martine Heruer, Lia de Jongh

5:05 pm

It is a strange thing when talking about love in the context of dementia care is considered to be a strange thing to do. Indeed some may say that it is an outrage that in a time where person centred care is so much to the forefront, no one wants to talk about love despite the fact that it is something that most if not all of us place at the centre of our lives.

Of course, mention of love in a professional context can also stimulate outrage in terms of the obvious risks and tensions that come with the language of love. As the paradigms of business continue to be applied to the Aged Care enterprise - now being described as a “market” an “industry,” a “sector,” with elderly people viewed as consumers whose choice should sit at the centre of the system, there will inevitably be a difficult tension between the need for safety, professionalism, clinical compliance and financial governance and the apparently,  “soft,” “dangerous” and “risky” language of love.

There is a strange irony here in the sense that some argue that the consumer should be at the heart of the system, whilst at the same time avoiding the language of the heart. The idea that love and the enablement of love might be a key indicator for success within an organisation is not something that is easily assimilated into standard business models. And yet, while those of us within the age care sector teach about “professional boundaries” (important as such boundaries can be), the spaces where we encounter truly personalised, life changing care sometimes sit uneasily on the edge of these boundaries as they are lived out by those who offer care that is marked by the core practices of love: joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness.

Care without love may be “safe” and “efficient” but is it enough?

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