News & Events

Supporting residents with dementia

August 17, 2016

Managing dementia in a retirement village is never an easy task but as part of its Vision 2020 to make all its villages’ dementia friendly, OCAV recently adopted the recommendations within Alzheimer’s Australia (NSW) report Dementia in Retirement Villages.

Central to OCAV’s approach will be its commitment to supporting residents with dementia to stay in their independent, or assisted living, homes for as long as possible.

“While we have a dementia unit at our Leith Park aged care home, we are very keen to keep our older residents in their own homes for as long as possible,” said Shaaron Robilliard, OCAV’s Quality Manager & Director of Nursing.

As part of the roll out of this new approach, OCAV will begin to engage with residents’ families or powers of attorney to ensure there is awareness and understanding when their older relative begins to show signs of dementia.

It will also review all agreements to make sure that all residents are clear about what the association will and will not provide in independent and assisted living homes.

“What we want is to make our villages dementia friendly as part of our strategy to provide a happy, vibrant, safe place to live,” said Ms Robilliard. This will include an audit of the layout of each village, policies and education for staff, residents and families.

The prevalence of dementia in Australia is currently estimated at 342,000. This is projected to grow to more than 900,000 by 2050. Dementia is the single greatest cause of disability in Australians aged 65 and over.

“Managing dementia is challenging but we strongly support the concept of enabling an older Victorian to ‘age in place’ by putting in the appropriate supports for as long as possible,” said Ms Robilliard

Underlying the new approach is OCAV’s commitment to delay placing its residents in aged care for as long as possible.

“We already know that our residents live longer in independent living and in our aged care facility than the national average,” Ms Robilliard said.

Anecdotally OCAV believes that this is because of the supportive environment that it provides all residents in their villages in North Fitzroy, Euroa, Berwick and St Helena.

“Social inclusion is very important for anyone, and our knowledge of each of our 500 residents makes a huge difference.”


"There is nothing I would change that would make my life any better. I have two loving sons and family and I thank God every day that OCAV took me in when I had nothing," said Jill Dale, Braeside Park resident.

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