Considered design for dementia at KOPWA

KOPWA’s brand new, purpose-built wing that is due to open in June is a carefully considered environment that promotes comfort, well-being and safety for seniors who live with dementia. 

When upgrading our residential aged care facility on Sydney’s north shore, the KOPWA team wanted to improve the services we offer to seniors who are living with dementia. 

The result of this vision was a close alliance with Dementia Australia and a brand-new wing that we have dedicated to the memory support for people living with dementia.

We are proud to welcome residents to this part of our facility and share its benefits. 

The new dementia wing at KOPWA

Quality of life can vary, even for those living with dementia. Increasingly, the medical fraternity understands more about supporting those who have the disease. The result is purpose-built aged care facilities that take the many challenges the disease presents in a nonclinical or sterile environment. 

Dementia Australia represents the 487,500 Australians living with dementia and the almost 1.6 million Australians involved in their care. Together with Dementia Australia, we identified the day-to-day living environments and model of care and found solutions to create a welcoming, safe and comfortable place for residents to live.

The features in the dementia wing design are to help ensure someone living with this disease can navigate their lives as easily as possible and in preference with their choices. For example:

  • Contrasting colours are used in furnishings to make moving around the facility less stressful 
  • Clear wall clocks and calendars make it easier to keep track of time
  • Residents and their families are encouraged to bring keepsakes that prompt special memories 

Staff in our dementia wing have dementia-specific training so they can provide the highest level of care. 

As with the standard practice within our facility, the preparation of meals is in line with all residents’ choices. The facility includes subtly placed security features to protect all staff and residents.

We strongly encourage our residents to go outdoors in a secured courtyard and socialise with other residents. There may be instances where people living with dementia may become overstimulated in their surroundings. Our staff is prepared to intervene, redirect and alleviate any emotions the resident may experience.

Residents of the dementia wing are able to spend time alone or with others. Our goal is for the residents to ease into their home-like environment quickly.

We aim to create an ‘enabling environment’ that promotes independence and supports well-being through:

  • Familiar surroundings
  • Meaningful skills or tasks
  • Daily activities
  • A sense of independence
  • Personal safety
  • Secure facilities
  • Comfortable surroundings

Plenty to do

Our purpose at KOPWA is to help seniors live well. Part of this means ensuring there is always something to do.

One of the activities we have on offer in our dementia wing is the Dutch ‘Tolvertafel’, aka the ‘Magic Table’. This innovative surface uses colourful light projections that respond to hand and arm movements, enabling residents to increase movement and stimulation. 

This table supports the understanding that games boost physical, cognitive and social interaction. Great care has been taken so the speed of play and difficulty is suitable for the person using it.

The Tolvertafel is a no-impact activity while playing this entertaining tool.

Dementia-specific care at KOPWA

Working with Dementia Australia highlighted the importance of dementia-specific care for seniors in Australia. We are proud to have created a state-of-the-art facility that caters to the different needs of our elderly community, some of whom may live with dementia .

For more information about high-quality aged care on Sydney’s North Shore, contact KOPWA today.

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