rutherford nursing home

Enabling meaningful

Since January 2021, Rutherford Park Care Community has been home to Maureen. As she settled in, our Care Community team worked with Maureen and her family to understand her social and emotional care needs to create a personalised care plan and enable meaningful connection.

During her career, Maureen worked in aged care as an Assistant in Nursing (AIN) supporting residents living with dementia. As an AIN, Maureen’s duties included caring for residents, assisting with meals and taking residents on bus outings. She frequently met with residents and their families to conduct care reviews and to support their transition into care.

With this important insight into Maureen’s past employment and understanding her social and emotional needs, our team have been able to create a care plan that enables Maureen to maintain some independence and live with meaning and joy in her life.

rutherford nursing home

Engagement and meaningful connection

Our team have worked closely with Maureen and her son to find out what makes her feel safe and happy.

Maureen believes she lives in our Memory Care Neighbourhood (MCN) due to her son’s work commitments. The MCN is a dedicated environment filled with cues and memory supports that help Maureen to live with meaning and purpose in our Care Community.

With the assistance of our Resident Activity Officer, Karen, Maureen has planted a combination garden of vegetables, herbs and flowers. Each day Maureen waters the raised garden beds, sweeps and wipes down the outdoor tables and chairs, feeds the chickens with scraps from the kitchen and helps residents on garden walks (with the team nearby).

The meaningful connection that Maureen and Karen share has been very important in building Maureen’s sense of security and they have bonded over the gardens in the Memory Care Neighbourhood.

Maureen is involved in other meaningful interactions in our Care Community, including encouraging residents to participate in group activities (bingo, quizzes, reminiscing, and singing), holding residents hands when guiding them to the bus for group outings and helping to guide residents to tables for their meals.

Maureen also supports residents who are non-verbal. They enjoy Maureen’s company and nurturing personality. Her career as a carer has really come full circle.

Through her interactions with others, Maureen has demonstrated that she is happy, safe and feels valued at Rutherford Park Care Community.

Enabling meaningful engagement

Fulfilment in living with purpose.

Through understanding Maureen’s interests we have been able to create a environment where she can participate in activities and relationships that are meaningful to her.

Maureen’s years of experience as an AIN have helped her settle in and find a sense of belonging in our Care Community. Maureen helps with daily activities which gives her a sense of purpose and meaning. It also gives her a level of responsibility that our team can count on, which puts a smile on Maureen’s face.

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Commonly asked questions about Dementia

  • Dementia isn’t a single disease, but a term used to describe the symptoms of a range of illnesses which cause a progressive decline in the ability to think and perform everyday tasks. It can also lead to changes in personality and behaviour. While there is no cure for dementia, it’s important to keep in mind that it is possible to continue to maintain a good quality of life for many people. For more information, click here.

  • There are many types of dementia but the most common causes include Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, frontotemporal dementia and dementia with Lewy bodies. Understanding the symptoms associated with each type of dementia can help in ensuring each person’s care needs are met.

  • Thinking about the move into residential care is never easy and can bring up all sorts of emotions. It’s time to start the conversation about moving into care when you have concerns that your loved one isn’t coping well with day-to-day activities or if you feel safety is a concern. The earlier you start the conversation, the more time everyone will have to consider options and make informed decisions.

  • Dementia has a huge impact not only on the person who has been diagnosed, but also on those closest to them. Some of the feelings commonly experienced by carers include guilt, grief, loss and even anger. Even if your loved one isn’t ready to move into long-term care, feel free to arrange for a chat with our knowledgeable team who’ll be happy to offer advice or put you in touch with other carers who are going through the same thing and can offer support and understanding. 

  • Think about a short stay in respite care to start with. Perhaps arrange to go and have lunch or participate in an activity that your loved one enjoys. This will give you both a chance to find out if the Care Community feels like a good fit and it will give you both confidence in your decision.

    It’s natural to feel apprehensive about making such a big decision. It’s important to remember that you’re not alone. Our team understands that it can feel overwhelming and they can provide direct support and suggest strategies to make things easier


  • Moving house is among the most stressful life events. When moving house is combined with a big life change like moving into residential care, it can have a significant impact. Often the move into care comes about as a result of a traumatic event such as a fall rather than a considered decision process, so the circumstances around the move can feel overwhelming and out of the person’s control. Sometimes the person moving into care can take out their frustrations on their family if they don’t feel in control. It’s important to ensure that your loved one feels a part of the decision making process. If this happens, try not to take it personally. Our team are here to help and support both you and your loved one through this time.

  • Everyone’s different but on average you can expect most people to start feeling more comfortable and at home in around two to six weeks. It’s a big adjustment so try not to get disheartened if it seems to take a while. The most important thing is to just take each day at a time and speak with our leadership team if you have any concerns.