The developed world is ageing fast and much is being researched and learnt about our needs for wellbeing and quality of life, in particular for people with dementia and chronic disease. Whiddon partners with academics and universities that are developing the latest thinking, training and programs to enrich the lives of our residents and clients through innovative care services.
Whiddon are currently trialing the Adult Social Care Outcomes Toolkit (ASCOT) in our residential care homes. ASCOT is an internationally recognised research tool that measures resident wellbeing and the impact of care services. Whiddon’s 15 month trial of ASCOT is an Australian first and in being run with the support of the University of Kent who are currently conducting a similar trial in the UK.
To do this we need to really understand and know what matters to our residents and their quality of life. This understanding is constantly developing as care staff members interact with residents every day. To help us support our residents’ wellbeing we need to ensure that we have the right tools and structures. ASCOT enables us to include resident and family feedback in our care planning and to measure that we are supporting our residents in the right way.
Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST)
In late 2015, Whiddon completed a very successful trial of Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST), one of the most promising non-medication, evidence-based treatments.
CST is a structured social group-based program for individuals with mild to moderate dementia that seeks to delay the onset of dementia. The program runs over several months, where participants are actively engaged through different themes, stimulus and sensory materials.
While it is well established as a therapy in the UK, our trial was the first time CST had been trialed in Australian residential and community care services located in regional, rural and remote New South Wales.
- Following our successful trial of CST, Whiddon have begun running our own version of the program called Chat, Stories & Tea. Find out more about Chat, Stories & Tea and how it helps slow the onset of dementia.
In 2015-2016, Whiddon ran the Australian first trial of HenPower, a creative ageing program developed by UK charitable organisation, Equal Arts. Whiddon trialled HenPower as part of our wellbeing approach to care, as the program supports our focus on keeping people connected to combat social isolation and loneliness, and our focus on creative ageing.
Whiddon trialled HenPower in four residential care homes across regional, rural and remote NSW over a 6 month period, with our trial results showing that the program provides considerable benefits to residents and the care home environment. Whiddon’s trial results and research report will be released in late 2017.
- Find out more about HenPower at Whiddon.
Leap for Life
Whiddon have been involved in a three year trial of the Leap For Life program created by the Dementia Collaborative Research Centre at UNSW through our Community Care services.
The aim of the Leap for Life program and trial was to achieve more meaningful interactions between our care staff and clients. The trial involved education for our care staff on promoting client independence and choice; practicing good communication; and creating meaningful activities together by using Montessori principles, reminiscence, music, play and physical activity.
Making it Together
Whiddon’s Grafton and Glenfield residential care homes participated in an innovative dementia research project with the University of Technology Sydney. The project, Making it Together, aims to help people with advanced dementia engage through the creation of personalised sensory objects that are meaningful to the individual.
“Many people with advanced dementia find it difficult to engaged with others and can become withdrawn. The program aims to create a familiarity and provide some comfort,stimulation, enjoyment and pleasure through touch and sensory engagement,” said Karn Nelson, Whiddon’s Executive General Manager, Strategy & Research.