Recovery Approaches to Dementia (RAD) News - October 2016

The RAD project builds upon popular Person Centered Care Principles. It has the underlying belief that individuals—despite serious mental health or physical health concerns— can regain and/or maintain a meaningful life. Core recovery concepts are hope, personal responsibility, education, advocacy and support. It acknowledges the importance of working in partnership with the individual and their family about what is important to them, their wants and needs. This project has included the development of a range of groups. (Please see over page for dates of these groups). You can contact the RAD team should you be interested in attending. Please feel free to pass this information onto anyone who may be interested. Programs run over a number of weeks, and there is no cost to you, so if you miss one group, you can always become involved at another stage. Please give us a call to see when the next group is running in your area.

What’s happening with RAD? We would like to welcome Sarah O’Donoghue to the RAD team, who is a Social Work Student on placement who commenced in early September. Sarah will be with us until February 2017. Whilst Sarah is on placement she will be undertaking a review of the RAD program. Recent RAD Groups · The RAD Stakeholder Reference Group met last week and the group comprised individuals who have previously attended RAD programs. The feedback was positive and provided some great insight into the future direction of RAD in 2017. Thankyou to all those who attended, you feedback was very much appreciated. · We have had a steady number of individuals attending our Recovery Support Groups. The groups comprise some great discussion relating to issues that impact people living with Dementia and their carers. If you know someone who would like to participate in our groups, please pass on this newsletter and ask them to give us a call.

RAD Programs run at various locations, each month and include the following: RAD Educational & Support Groups (RESGs): This is a short-term group for people living with dementia and their partner/spouse/carer for recovery discussions, social interaction and support, relevant education and capacity building. Participants will be supported in sessions to develop their own individual recovery and self management plan, and sessions will be tailored to reflect the needs of participants. Training for Aged Care Service Staff & Volunteers: Provision of training in recovery based models and their implementation in working with people with dementia. Training is provided free of charge. Dementia Awareness Raising Activities: RAD has a number of awareness raising activities which include; The development of a Regional Resource Booklet, and a range of Community Events. These will be promoted through this newsletter, on Centacare’s Website and in local promotional avenues.

Our Dementia Journey…

Recently the Daily Advertiser approached Centacare’s RAD Program about interviewing a client of our services about their experience of living with Dementia. Hannah Paine from the Advertiser, interviewed Vicki Humphris and John Lawson who spoke candidly about their experience. The information below is an abstract directly taken from the article. Vicki Humphris was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia in May this year. At 55 years of age, she has lost her short term memory, cannot drive and suffers hallucinations at times. “It was hard telling people, I would just break down and cry, it was horrible,” she said. “It took me a good month for it to sink in and for me to tell people.” Her partner of seven years, John Lawson, has now become her carer. Since the diagnosis, both have seen their relationships with friends drop off and regular visits to the pub for pool games are not as frequent. “I would meet my mates there and John would meet his mates there,” Ms Humphris said. “I hardly see them anymore, they don’t ring me or come around. At first I was a bit hurt about it but now I think that maybe they don’t know what to say to me.” There has also been a change in their relationship with each other. “Only a year ago, we were both working and going our separate ways during the day and financially we were independent of each other,” Mr. Lawson said. “It’s like starting out again with your relationship, you’ve really got to apply yourself to be able to engage in conversation … it takes a bit of work rather than before it just happened.” Centacare is just one community service which is trying to provide more support and education to a growing number of people living with Dementia in the Riverina. Thank you Vicki and John for sharing your journey with us!

RADCristy Houghton