3 November 2021
Currently in Australia, there are an estimated 472,000 people living with all forms of dementia*. This figure is projected to increase to over 1 million people by 2058 if there is no major medical breakthrough that addresses this devastating disease.
The likelihood of people living with Dementia moving into aged care will increase significantly. Consequently there is an ever greater imperative for aged care providers to be able to assess the quality of services provided to this growing resident population.
Obtaining feedback is essential to continuously improving. As aged care providers this is typically achieved through consumer insights conducted as surveys or received as written feedback from residents who are cognitively able to comprehend a list of survey questions.
It stands to reason that it is important to develop meaningful ways of collecting feedback from residents who find it difficult or are unable to respond to traditional methods. Just as we actively seek input from residents who are cognitively able, understanding how residents living with Dementia feel about the food, activities or the care they receive is just as important.
There are different methods that exist or are being developed that incorporate the use of technology such as facial recognition to assess emotion, in addition to simplifying survey question structure and how response choices are represented.
Earlier this year, Allity commenced a trial project in our Dementia-specific Home, Medina Manor in Victoria that uses an observational approach to collect data which is then translated into a consumer sentiment score.
This approach has already enabled the Home to adapt its practices to achieve better and more person-centred outcomes for each resident. For example, by changing the dining service method to increase the amount of finger-food provided, residents eat better, thereby reducing the risk of unplanned weight loss. We have now developed a balance and nutritious Dementia specific Menu that forms part of Allity’s seasonal menus. This approach will be shared and implemented across other Allity Homes.
*Source: The 2021 Dementia Australia Prevalence Data – Dementia Australia update September 2021
For more information or Carer support for families with loved ones living with dementia contact; Dementia Australia or phone the National Dementia Helpline 1800 100 500
Got a question about Living with Dementia or want to send some feedback? Ask an Allity Expert.