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dementia in india
Just outside of Delhi, India’s bustling
capital, is a residential care facility
where more than 30 people who have
dementia reside. Alzheimer’s Australia
NSW Counsellor Katy Fitzgerald
befriended them during a recent three-
Amid the chaos of the busy capital,
time moves more slowly for the
residents of the care home.
Katy took time to walk with them,
offering a reassuring hand to hold
and a warm, friendly face.
“ T here was one Indian lady, I used
to tell her she was my favourite and
she’d laugh as we’d walk along,”
Passionate about her work with
Alzheimer’s Australia NSW, she
returned from India to continue her
role, working mostly with carers.
“ W ith carers, so much of their
energy goes on the person with
dementia – I try to encourage people
to put some of their energy on
themselves,” Katy explains.
Her role allows her to step back
and really listen to what a person is
saying, allowing a person to find their
own solution to their situation.
“I am inspired by the strength and
courage of many of the people I see.
Most of the time people are looking
for a sounding board, validation and
acceptance,” she explains.
“It is a privilege for us that they
share their story with us. Our role is
more to empower and enable people
to see the situation more clearly.”
Barry Ferranti enjoyed almost 20
years of happiness with his spouse
before losing her to dementia.
When Alzheimer’s disease and
vascular dementia entered their life,
Barry knew he needed some help in
dealing with difficult changes.
“I was caring for her at home, up
until a time when it was no longer
sensible or possible,” Barry explains.
When the time came, his partner
was moved into residential aged care
at Randwick. “As I have found out in
discussions with others, virtually no
one is prepared,” he added.
“ T he seriousness of the condition
becomes apparent and, as it goes on, it
is harder and harder to cope with.”
Educating himself about his partner’s
dementia through the Alzheimer’s
Australia NSW library and confidential
counselling resources helped him
greatly through those initial weeks
and months. Barry found talking to his
counsellor about what was happening
eased the pressure. “She was one
to whom I could talk easily about the
situation,” he says.
“I’m pretty sure it helped me be
more open and to see things in a
Barry urges others to overcome
any negative feelings about seeking
counselling support, as the benefits
were instrumental in accepting and
dealing with his partner’s diagnosis.
CaSe Study 1
Alzheimer’s Australia NSW is
expanding its program options to
offer carers and people living
at home alone with dementia the
opportunity to participate in
a new Personal Wellbeing
This model of coaching is
particularly helpful for carers and
people who live alone with dementia
in more geographically and socially
isolated parts of NSW.
The innovative program is
designed to be flexible, accessible
and individualised, and can be
delivered over the phone or
A personal coach will work with
participants over eight wellbeing
sessions to help set goals and
prioritise what matters most, build
confidence to manage the impacts
of dementia, plan for changes and
achieve overall wellbeing.
The program is designed around
the following topics:
• Staying positive
• Adapting to change and
• Physical wellbeing
• Sleeping well and relaxation
• Mindfulness and meaning
• Maintaining connections with
friends and community
• Eating for health and wellbeing
• Keeping the cognitive
• Meaningful engagement
Participants can track their progress
by completing tasks that utilise skills
learned and move toward achieving
The coach is there to offer
constructive and empowering
feedback along the way.
Participants are also able to
determine the times and frequency
of the eight sessions.
The program has been designed
to help build confidence in
participants’ ability to improve
their wellbeing and quality of life,
empowering them to enhance
their self- care skills, improve
optimism and resilience, and achieve
short- and long-term health and
Katy walking with a new friend at
the Faridabad care facility.
CaSe Study 2
19/05/15 4:28 PM
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