CRT Program facilitates carer support groups across Greater Sydney and the Illawarra. Our support groups are conducted by experienced dementia care advisors who can provide education sessions, information, support and advocacy for people caring for another person.
We offer carers the opportunity to come together to talk and share with others in similar
situations. The team can also provide in-home visits to provide individualised assessment of needs to work with carers on tailored strategies that improve the person’s independence and quality of life.
Although many people use dementia and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) interchangeably, there is an important distinction. Dementia is simply the general term used to describe the signs and symptoms of more than 100 conditions that can affect a person’s memory, thinking, behaviour and the ability to perform everyday activities. Alzheimer’s Disease is only one of these. Others include:
While it’s helpful recognise signs of dementia, such as increased forgetfulness or changes in the person’s usual disposition or behaviour, it’s especially important to take proactive steps to reduce the risk of the disease.
Our clients are people living with dementia, care workers, health professionals and family carers who are supporting a person with dementia experiencing behaviours and psychological changes that are impacting their care.
To receive CRT Program services the person requiring support must have:
Dementia is often referred to being in early, moderate or advanced stages. These stages are just labels and every individual is different and every family’s experience of dementia is different. It can help to know the terms that other people use, especially health workers, and to be familiar with what they mean
In the Early stages of dementia, independent living with caring family support is possible. The help a person with dementia needs in this early stage is often practical in nature; e.g. reminders about doctor or dental appointments and keeping them in contact with friends and other social activities. Keeping the person’s memory stimulated is important and going to Dementia Cafes, family gatherings or other community activities can help to do this.
In the Moderate stage, extra family support, as well as support from outside services is usually needed. This stage is usually the longest and forgetfulness becomes more of a problem. You may see the person start to struggle with:
Eventually, constant supervision will be needed and you might need to consider moving the person you care for into a residential aged care facility (nursing home) to receive 24 hour care. While your caring role will change in this situation, you can still be involved in their physical care. This could be by helping nursing staff with personal care such as washing their hair or bruising their teeth. As you know the person best, let nursing staff know if you think they are in pain and may need medication adjusted.