21 March 2023

Working with aged care providers and people living in aged care homes has always been a labour of love for nurse and owner of The Practice Bundanoon, Jessie Beresford.

Jessie tells us about her passion project in this edition of Spotlight on General Practice.

 

Why did the team at The Practice begin working with the local aged care facility to assist the community to access better healthcare?

Jessie Beresford

As a manager at a local aged care facility, current practice nurse and practice owner, Jessie (pictured right) found her passion and drive for improving health outcomes for residents of residential aged care homes in the region.

Still working in Wingecarribee, but moving into primary care, continuing this care was a no brainer for Jessie and her practice staff.

As well as going into aged care facilities, The Practice has taken on more than 20 new patients who are residents in aged care homes locally, to provide a deeper level of care. This trust and ongoing commitment to continuity of care has allowed for a number of changes to take place in this area.

What does this involve?

One day a week, on a Tuesday afternoon, Jessie will visit the local aged care home to chat with residents about their health. These sessions can include anything from discussing patient care plans, blood pressure checks, mental health checks or simply chatting with residents to let them know what options they have during this time of their lives in regard to ongoing care and support.

This support helps to take the burden off registered nurses working at aged care homes who are often overworked and simply don’t have the resources available to take the extra time to chat with residents.

Why is the work to support this community important? And what has this achieved?

An advocate for aged care, Jessie believes it is important to let older people know what they are entitled to and what their options for care are as they age. Families, carers and patients should have all the necessary tools to guide the older person through their later stages.

Information is available online and sometimes at general practices or libraries, but it’s about knowing what is useful and what can help the patient to make informed decisions about their own health and the care they wish to receive is vital. Visiting the aged care home allows for this transfer of information and having patients cared for at The Practice allows for continuity of care.

Further supporting her work at the aged care home, Jessie’s role as a practice nurse is to ask the important questions during her over 75s health checks for all patients around this age: Do you have a Will? Do you have a Power of Attorney? Have you got a next of kin? And so on. It is important to make sure these documents are up-to-date and easily accessible prior to the patient being placed in an aged care home.

Through this care, residents living in Wingecarribee are given the autonomy to make their own decisions about their care and what they would like to happen as they age. Carers and families are given peace of mind and the tools to ensure the best outcome.

What is the biggest challenge of the role and how can it be overcome?   

A lack of funding. The role is essentially being a liaison for the person, or the conduit between them and the right care plan for now and in the future. The work is time consuming and not everyone in the region can be cared for due to these constraints.

The care doesn’t end after the information session ends at the aged care home – there is a lot of follow-up with phone calls, emails and check-ins taking place for each individual.

What is the most rewarding aspect of being a practice nurse and facilitating care for such a diverse population?  

Knowing older people are safe, this includes the reassurance and increased knowledge for the older people, their families and their carers.

What is the best way to educate people living and working in aged care facilities about the importance of maintaining good health?

Communication and education for families, working with the deputy managers at aged care homes to assess the needs of people living in the area each week.

Education typically consists of assisting with the next stages, including where to refer the patient, wound management, palliative care management and behaviour management.

16 March 2023

Navigating the world after a dementia diagnosis is often a tricky and daunting task for families, carers and people living with dementia.

SWSPHN has compiled a Dementia and Palliative Care Directory using local, state and national services to guide families, carers and people living with dementia from diagnoses to end-of-life care.

The directory is available as a webpage on our website and as a downloadable, interactive pdf.

Among the wealth of services and resources available through the directory is information about:

dementia booklet

  • Advance care planning and directives
  • National care services
  • Support groups
  • Doulas
  • Dementia specific activities
  • Transport services
  • Food services
  • Bereavement counselling services

This directory was developed as part of SWSPHN’s Peace of Mind project (POMp), funded under the Commonwealth Greater Choice for at Home Palliative Care measure.

POMp aims to improve the end-of-life journey of people living with dementia, their carers, families and health professionals, through the implementation of education, information and resources for community.

A hard copy of the directory will be available during Advance Care Planning Week, 20 to 26 March, in the Southern Highlands and Campbelltown.

The Dementia and Palliative Care Directory is available:

  • Monday to Friday at Wingecarribee Shire Council, Civic Centre Customer Service Desk, 68 Elizabeth Street Moss Vale. The Customer Service Desk display will include the new Palliative Care and Dementia Directory, the A journey into Sorry Business booklet and other information from SWSPHN about advance care planning.
  • Wednesday, 22 March at an information stall at Oran Park Library, 72 Central Ave, Oran Park, between 10am and 12pm.
  • Thursday, 23 March at an information stall at HJ Daley Library, 1 Hurley Street, Campbelltown, between 9.30am and 11.30am.
16 January 2023

You’re invited to come along and hear from SWSPHN’s Priority Populations Program team about the importance of Advance Care Planning (ACP) at venues across the region during NSW Seniors Festival 2023.

We’ll hold talks, host stalls and be available to answer questions at community activities in Campbelltown, Wollondilly and Wingecarribee in February and March.

 

What is Advance Care Planning?

Advance Care Planning is the process of an individual planning the healthcare they would or would not like to receive if they are injured or become seriously ill and are unable to communicate their preferences.

It helps the individuals’ loved ones and doctors know what care they would prefer to receive.


Where will you find us?

Friday, 2 February – Moss Vale

Healthy Minds, Healthy Bodies at the Civic Centre Theatrette, 68 Elizabeth Street, Moss Vale, 10am to 12pm. Our team will be holding a talk about ACP and handing out information.

Reserve a spot

 

Tuesday, 7 February – Campbelltown

Let’s Talk Legal program: Wills for Seniors at HJ Daley Library, 1 Hurley Street, Campbelltown, 10.30am to 12.30pm. Our team will be hosting a stall.

Reserve a spot

 

Wednesday, 8 February – Moss Vale

Planning for the rest of your life at the Civic Centre Theatrette, 68 Elizabeth Street, Moss Vale, 9.30am to 4pm. Our team will be hosting a stall.

Reserve a spot

 

Friday, 10 February – Narellan

IC Care musical and services expo at Narellan Community Health Centre, 14 Queen Street, Narellan, 10.30am to 1.30pm. Our team will be hosting a stall.

Reserve a spot

 

Thursday, 9 March – Picton

Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds at Wollondilly Shire Hall, 62-64 Menangle Street, Picton, 10am to 12pm. Our team will be holding a talk about ACP and hosting a stall.

Reserve a spot
16 November 2022

South Western Sydney is expected to have the highest increase in dementia cases in all of NSW by 2050. Dementia is a brain illness which can affect mobility, vision, and cognition.

It is NOT a normal part of ageing.

The South Western Sydney Dementia Network is hosting  a free, online dementia information session on Thursday, 1 December from 10am to 12pm, honouring International Day of People with Disabilities.

Download this flyer to learn more/register for the session

16 November 2022

If you’d like to join a local network dedicated to supporting people with dementia and their families, please express your interest in joining the South Western Sydney Dementia Network.

SWSPHN is part of the network which includes Western Sydney University, local councils, and health services including South Western Sydney Local Health District, Dementia Australia and Macarthur Disability Services.

The network supports people with dementia and their families by teaching, training and facilitating social programs in the community.

If you’d like to know more about what the role requires or to apply, download this Expression of Interest form.

26 September 2022

Visit us at Café Connect, a one-stop-shop for older people of all abilities, in the Camden LGA.

SWSPHN staff will be at the ‘Grandparents Day’ event to chat about Advance Care Planning, the Peace of Mind project (for palliative care for people with dementia), and to answer any questions you may have about getting older.

This event is ideal for grandparents and their grandchildren, there will be a sensory play group for all abilities, story time, reader’s theatre, and some exciting and fun giveaways for the kids!

 

About the event

🏡 Where: Oran Park Library (72 Central Ave, Oran Park – Google Maps) 
📆 When: Wednesday, 26 October, 10.30am –  1pm
📞 To book: Click here

 

Café Connect is free to Camden LGA residents and is an inclusive environment for over 55’s.

 

For more information

Learn more about Camden Café Connect – Café Connect brochure

26 September 2022

Visit SWSPHN’s stalls in Wollondilly to chat about Advance Care Planning, and the Peace of Mind Project for palliative care for people with dementia.

 

About the events

Memory Information Session

This event is ideal for anyone worried about memory and brain changes as you get older.

🏡 Where: Picton Bowling Club (10 Cliffe Street, PICTON, NSW, 2571 – Google Maps)
📆 When: Friday, 30 September, 10am –  12pm
📞 To book: Call 4677 9550

For more information

Learn more about the Memory Information Session – Memory Information Session

 

Legal Issues for Older People

This event is ideal for anyone who wants to find out what you need to know about preparing a will, Enduring Power of Attorney and Enduring Guardianship.

🏡 Where: Wollondilly Shire Hall (52 Menangle Street, PICTON, NSW, 2571 – Google Maps)
📆 When: Tuesday, 15 November, 10am –  12pm
📞 To book: Call 4677 4476

Café Connect is free to Wollondilly residents and is an inclusive environment for over 55’s.

For more information

Learn more about Wollondilly Café Connect – Café Connect brochure

21 September 2022

If you’d like to find out more about advance care planning, visit SWSPHN’s stall at the Camden Café Connect Carers Pamper Day at Camden Civic Centre (Google Maps) on Wednesday, 19 October, from 11am to 2pm – Book here

The pamper day will include massage, relaxation techniques and demonstrations, pamper product workshops and more, is part of the National Carers Week celebrations, 16 to 22 October.

National Carers Week is an opportunity to recognise, celebrate, and raise awareness among all Australians about the diversity of Australia’s 2.65 million carers and their caring roles.

About Carers

Carers are people who provide unpaid care and support to family members and friends who have a disability, mental health condition, chronic condition, terminal illness, an alcohol or other drug issue or who are frail aged – anyone, of any age, at any time can become a carer.

Carers Week, 16 to 22 October

National Carers Week is an opportunity to raise community awareness among all Australians about the diversity of carers and their caring roles.

Where can carers get support?

Carer Gateway provides information and advice on the supports available to carers across Australia, and has a great range of online resources to help promote carer wellbeing.

South Western Sydney Carer Support Groups 

Carers Australia

Carers Australia | The voice for carers across Australia

Carers NSW Australia

Homepage | Carers NSW

Young Carers Network (young carers are people up to the age of 25)

Home | Young Carers Network

SWSPHN will also hold stalls on:

  • Friday, 30 September at Picton Bowling Club, 10am to 12pm. Topic: Memory Information Session
  • Wednesday, 26 October at Oran Park Library, 10.30am to 1pm. Topic: Grandparents Day – Book here
  • Tuesday, 15 November at Wollondilly Shire Hall, 10am to 12pm. Topic: Legal Issues for Older People with Macarthur Legal Centre
14 September 2022

Dementia impacts almost half a million Australians and close to 1.6 million Australians are involved in their care. The number of people living with dementia is set to double in the next 25 years.

A recent Dementia Australia survey found two thirds of health professionals surveyed believed people living with dementia are discriminated against in health and medical settings.

Greater awareness of dementia and how to support people impacted by dementia, will help lift the standard of care and reduce the examples of discrimination that people living with dementia have reported experiencing across the health system.

Dementia Action Week is 19 to 25 September and this year’s theme ‘A little support makes a big difference’ demonstrates how many people living with dementia can continue to live well for many years after their diagnosis.

The campaign provides information and tips to encourage all Australians to increase their understanding of dementia and learn how they can make a difference to the lives of people around them who are impacted – and to help eliminate discrimination.

Visit Dementia Australia’s website for resources for healthcare professionals or for information about Dementia Action Week.

17 August 2022

Dementia impacts almost half a million Australians and close to 1.6 million Australians are involved in their care. The number of people living with dementia is set to double in the next 25 years.

With so many people impacted now and into the future, it is important to clear up some of the misconceptions about dementia.

People living with dementia can live active and fulfilling lives many years after diagnosis.

Despite this, they often experience discrimination.

Dementia Action Week is 19 to 25 September and this year’s theme ‘A little support makes a big difference’ demonstrates how many people living with dementia can continue to live well for many years after their diagnosis.

The campaign provides information and tips to encourage all Australians to increase their understanding of dementia and learn how they can make a difference to the lives of people around them who are impacted – and to help eliminate discrimination.

These include simple and practical tips to:

  • Give a little support to a person living with dementia
  • Give a little support to a carer, friend or family member of a person living with dementia
  • Support someone with dementia to start advance care planning

Find out more about Dementia Action Week

Ten facts about dementia