Designing dementia care around individual needs

Designing dementia
care around needs

Identifying behaviour changes as they occur

Rose lives at Wallarah Point Care Community. Our team noticed Rose displaying some behaviour changes due to dementia, such as self-isolating, becoming withdrawn from her friends and other residents, disliking certain foods and low self-esteem.

Our team are working with Rose and her family to deeply understand her social and emotional care needs and to adapt her care plan to address these changes in her wellbeing.

Our team talked with Rose about her life history including the dynamics of her family. Rose shared insights about her work life and her husband who had been a respected police officer. Ongoing discussions delved into how Rose would like to be treated by others in the Care Community and the things that are important to her.

Designing dementia care

Creating a care plan that helps Rose thrive

Our team identified homely items that made Rose feel secure and at ease. They decorated her bedroom with family photos and personal items that are special to Rose.

A keen gardener and a florist, Rose now has her own ecological footprint in our Care Community in the form of a garden bed created especially for her to grow flowers and herbs. For Rose it is a retreat and enables her to enjoy spending time outdoors in a purposeful way. It also brings pleasure to other residents in our Care Community.

Understanding how much Rose enjoys flower arranging, our team set up an indoor ‘flower workshop’ at Wallarah Point, where Rose and her friends can arrange flowers any time.

Rose also enjoys colouring in activities. It boosts her confidence and helps with organising and problem solving skills, enabling Rose to be ‘in flow’ and live in the moment. Understanding the reason for her behaviour changes and finding ways to generate periods of focus is very important for residents who are living with dementia.

Rose has also begun to make friends, connecting with a fellow resident, sharing interests and doing activities together.

Our team has regular huddles and monthly reviews, where they share knowledge and communicate changes to Rose’s routine, including her likes and dislikes.

Rose in garden

Comfortable and confident in care

Rose has settled into our Care Community and is able to live with purpose and enjoyment in every day. She is confident to initiate self–directed activity and participates in group activities doing things she enjoys like floral arranging, playing bingo, gardening and colouring. Taking part in cooking classes helps her to enjoy her meals each day.

Rose is feeling secure and comfortable in her environment, so much so that she is now helping new residents settle into our Care Community.

Rose painting

5 Steps into Residential Aged Care



Make sure the person requiring care has had an ACAT assessment.



Search for a residential aged care home suitability located.



Understand the costs associated with aged care.



Ensure you have all the relevant paperwork.



Check out our moving checklist to ensure the smoothest move possible.

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Commonly asked questions about Aged Care

  • Once you have received your ACAT assessment, you can begin applying to as many care homes as you wish, but once you accept a place, it’s important that you let the other homes know that you no longer require their services.

  • Visiting a range of homes is often one of the best ways to decide which home suits your needs. To help you assess the suitability of the homes you visit, we have attached a short checklist at the end of this section. This will help you assess each home and ask some important questions to the providers you meet with.

  • The Department of Human Services (DHS) is the body that determines your financial situation. To do this, DHS conducts a Combined Income and Assets Assessment, which is a form that you need to complete and submit to the government.

  • Respite care is short-term care, including day respite, to provide your caregivers a break from caring when they need it. It can be planned or on an emergency basis and can be used for up to 63 days in a financial year. Many care homes offer day respite, which offers caregivers some flexibility to attend to personal needs and obligations as they arise.

  • The Combined Income and Assets Assessment form (SA457) is an extensive questionnaire with over 140 questions about what you and your partner/spouse own and earn. It’s important to understand that you are considered to own half your assets with your partner/spouse regardless of who holds the title to the assets. As part of your assessment, you will be asked to provide details of all assets owned by both of you.

  • Accommodation Charge (the cost of your room) - These are set by individual homes and varies from home to home

    • Basic Daily Care Fee (meals, laundry, cleaning and other day-to-day costs) – These are set by the Australian Government and is the same across every home in Australia.
    • Means-Tested Care Fee (to supplement the cost of your overall care) - These are set by the Australian Government based on an assessment of your personal financial situation.
    • Additional Services Fee or Extra Services Fee - (higher-end services and accommodation) These are set by individual homes and varies from home to home.In some homes, Additional Services or Extra Services are optional and in other homes, residents are required to purchase these services as a condition of entry

    For further information download our 5 step guide.