Anglican Care will today launch a new dementia care service that will see highly trained response teams deployed to assist people when their dementia symptoms are escalating.

The Direct Action Response Team, to be known as DART, aims to treat the person on an individual basis by building knowledge of their health status, environment, past experiences, interests and family.

On the escalation of dementia symptoms, Anglican Care’s DART team will be dispatched to the consumers home or Anglican Care’s residential aged care homes.

“The initiative is all about improving the quality of life of people with dementia. Our program understands Dementia symptoms are different for each individual and that changes in their health and environment can trigger escalation of the dementia symptoms,” said Anglican Care CEO, Colin Osborne.

“Research shows therapy based strategies can achieve positive results and can reduce the use of pharmaceuticals. Some of the strategies used by our DART teams will include exercise, music, and pets as therapy,” he said.

“There are more than 413,000 Australians living with dementia, and of those people 55% are female.  By 2025 the number of people with dementia is expected to increase to more than half a million.”

“Without a medical or therapy breakthrough, the number of people with dementia is expected to reach 1,100,890 by 2056 and currently around 244 people each day are joining the population with dementia.  The more we can support programmes such as DART, the better.”

Anglican Care was recently recognised for its commitment to innovative services, winning a Better Practise Award for its lifestyle van nick-named “Rene”.

“Rene has been such an overwhelming success. A modern take on a mobile library, Rene contains a diverse range of resources that seniors accessing Anglican Care’s services can borrow free of charge,” said Anglican Care Marketing Manager, Kylie Jacques.

“The van is equipped with items such as iPads, indoor golf sets, large print books, games, DVD’s, art and craft items – all designed to enhance the lives of seniors and their carers, be that people living in our residential aged care homes or in the community.”

The wide ranging nature of resources enables the van to assist people across the community including those with a dementia related illness to those who may be socially isolated.

It also has resources to assist carers and to cater for people from different cultural backgrounds via communication cards and links with interpreting / translating services.

“We are so honoured to receive the Award from Australian Aged Care Quality Agency for Rene as we have seen what amazing good it has done in our communities,” she said.