Lessons in dementia care from Australia and the USA

Published: 30 Aug 2016

Author: Tracy Paine
Lessons in dementia care from Australia and the USA

There are 850,000 people with dementia in the UK, with numbers set to rise to over one million by 2025. Tracy Paine, Operations Director at Belong, a Cheshire-based organisation with over 25 years’ experience of providing care and accommodation for people living with dementia, has recently returned to the UK after five weeks in Australia and the USA investigating best practice in dementia care.

Through observing facilities and practices in Australia and the USA, Tracy is hoping to ensure both the quality and design of the living environment and the skills and behaviours of staff at Belong are able to meet the challenges presented by the increased prevalence of dementia. Tracy’s travels were enabled by a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Travelling Fellowship Award, with support from the National Housing Federation.

During her Fellowship, Tracy, pictured above with Roberto Muniz, President and CEO of The Francis E. Parker Memorial Home, New Jersey, visited 17 providers over 32 sites within 11 cities. She observed a broad range of facilities, from small scale living being developed for just 7 people, to large retirement communities with fantastic grounds, child care, and leisure facilities.

Highlights from Tracy’s Fellowship included the opportunity to see some of the original households in Australia that inspired Belong’s model of care, and being invited to be a guest panellist at the International Dementia Conference in Sydney.

“Globally, we face the same challenges: an ageing population and finite funding. Everyone I visited had the same vision to provide an engaging and spirited ‘Home for Life’ for older individuals who still have a desire to live life to the full and be recognised as ‘Me’. I return feeling very confident that Belong is truly out there as a ‘Beacon of Light’ and will only get better by incorporating learning from all over the world” -Tracy Paine

Since returning to the UK, Tracy has been reflecting on her experiences and exploring how the lessons learned might influence the services provided by Belong. She has been invited to speak about her Fellowship at a number of events, including the National Care Forum Manager’s Conference and the Housing and Dementia Research Consortium. She will also write a report based on her findings.

Notes to Editors

Contact: Megan Cutts, Triangle PR - 0161 873 8009

Email: megan.cutts@trianglepr.co.uk

National Housing Federation

The National Housing Federation (NHF) is the trade body for housing associations in England. It believes that everyone should have the home they need at a price they can afford. It represents the work of housing associations and campaigns for better housing. Its members provide two and a half million homes for more than five million people and each year they invest in a diverse range of neighbourhood projects that help create strong, vibrant communities. The NHF ensures the ideas and recommendations from the Fellowships reach policy makers and other relevant groups and individuals.