The ‘Dementia Australia National Symposium Series 2020 – Dementia care is quality was delivered as an online series of six weekly virtual events, commencing 4 August. It had originally been intended to be delivered as an in person event in Sydney.
Dementia Australia CEO Maree McCabe said about the series “Offering the webinar series for free is our contribution to supporting the aged care sector through this difficult time to enable a greater level of engagement than would have been possible with the original event.”
Hospital, hotel or home? What does relationship-centred quality look like and how do you know you’re delivering it? was presented by Dr Lisa Trigg, Assistant Director of Research, Data and Intelligence at Social Care Wales (UK), on 25 August.
“A relationship-centred approach to quality is the best type of quality, where the person needing care is treated as an individual with his or her own personality, regardless of their health issues,” Dr Trigg said.
“It is being cared for by someone in a compassionate and supportive reciprocal relationship – even though someone may be in the late stages of dementia, they are still a person with their own individuality and personality.”
Dr Trigg has studied quality improvement in long-term care and currently supports people working in care in Wales with evidence and research to inform policy and service design. At the symposium she explained the concept of relationship-centred quality and gave delegates the opportunity to reflect upon the quality of care in their own organisation and how well it is being achieved.
Relationship centred care focuses on enhancing the care experience for residents together with family and staff, where relationships between them are built upon and nurtured. Residents feel a sense of security, feeling safe and receiving knowledgeable and sensitive care whilst staff feel safe from threat, working within a supportive culture and families are supported to feel confident in providing good care. A sense of belonging is established, residents are supported to make friends within the setting, family maintain valued relationships and staff feel like they are part of a team.
Residents have the opportunity to develop and meet goals, giving them a sense of achievement, which is shared with family and staff. A sense of continuity is built with residents receiving care from staff they know and staff have consistent work assignments. A shared sense of purpose is also achieved with the help of family in activities where residents have meaningful, purposeful functions and staff help with clear, shared goals. Importantly, residents feel valued and recognised, staff feel like their work matters and family feel valued by staff.
You can tune into the last two webinars in the webinar series:
Tuesday 1 September at 4pm – Reconsidering Person-Centred Dementia Care: Can we make this an everyday experience for those living with high dependency needs and dementia? Presented by Professor Dawn Broker
Tuesday 8 September at 11 am – Leadership and the Challenge of Change by Ita Buttrose AC OBE and Addressing Leadership Blind Spots to Staff Engagement by Dr James Adonis
Dementia Advocate closing by Keith Davies.
Jillian Slade is a Placement Consultant.