Personal and Possible

Personal & Possible : Achieving Quality Dementia Care in Residential Aged Care Services

The aim of effective care is to support quality of life that respects the dignity, identity, and needs of both the person in care and the care giver. This kind of care is possible only in the context of a trusting, mutually respectful relationship. In the presence of such a relationship caring can be an enriching experience; in its absence, it becomes a custodial affair. (Zgola 1999)

In March 2001, the Department of Health and Ageing funded the Alzheimer's Association to conduct a project exploring quality dementia care in residential aged care services.The aim of the project was to:

  • identify systems and practices that contribute to quality of life;
  • analyse the ability to document these factors as measurable quality standards;
  • identify links and relationships with accreditation standards;
  • explore potential to recreate and introduce these elements in other Residential Aged Care Services; and
  • recommend ways that these may be implemented in other residential aged care services.

Approaches to care in literature purports variable approaches including medical and behavioural. The person-centred care approach was identified as a model that involved an individualised approach and focus on quality of life.

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June 2002