Members Articles – Dementia and More

ImageHandler (6)

Dementia and More
By Ernest Buckley DT

Justice and Forensic Health Long Bay, Malabar, NSW

Hi everyone,

I would like to share with you some of the interesting education related events I have participated in during 2013. In 2014 you may wish to explore some of these avenues of interest and I’m sure you will gain knowledge and the satisfaction that you deserve.

Areas to report on:

  • The University of Tasmania free online education: Understanding Dementia MOOC and the Degree in Dementia Care.
  • The Alzheimer’s Australia Working with People who have a Physical Disability and Dementia workshop.
  • The Edible Walls Exhibition held at the Sydney Powerhouse Museum August 2013.
  • The 18th National New Zealand Diversional Therapist Conference held in Hamilton August 2013.
  • The HAAC Northern Sydney Development Project Newsletter.
  • AUSTSWIM courses and related work.
  • The Dementia Collaborative Research Centres CHeBA Forums
  • My personal look, working as a Diversional Therapist, at the year 2013

The University of Tasmania have been and hopefully will continue to offer free online education to people working in the field. The MOOC education Massive Open Online Courses Understanding Dementia is an 11week online course that builds upon the latest in international research on Dementia. It’s free and anyone can register. You can express an interest in the next course starting in 2014. This is a very good course. Google MOOC and UTAS it will come up. For the more adventurous the Degree in Dementia Care is available to people working in the field. A colleague of mine has started the Degree it’s now all on line and she finds it rewarding but challenging.
The Working with People who have a Physical Disability and Dementia workshop held by Alzheimer’s Australia in Sydney during November was very good particularly the Disability segment which was presented by Lachlan Hazelton from The Physical Disability Council of NSW. Hopefully we will see more of Lachlan in 2014. Plus he has an interest in Movies. I personally am finding there are more people with a disability progressing onto Dementia and accessing care. We should be more prepared for this as it presents more challenges in dealing with the special needs.
The Edible Walls Exhibition: Last August I attended the first Exhibition of its kind in Australia. Researcher’s and students from the University of Technology Sydney and several leading Australian Green Wall companies showcased vertical wall gardens. UTS Professor Sarah Wilkinson said “ that in 20 years of research work, she has never been involved with a project that had put so many smiles on people’s faces. I particularly like the combined Aquaponic and green vegetation vertical wall garden. Below the wall garden is seated area that has a fish tank in it. In the tank is Bass Fish they excrete into the water and it’s pumped up and through the trays of vegetation fertilising as it goes through. Why are vertical wall gardens good for us? We can install them into facilities and produce food, not worry about individuals eating the wrong thing and receive a lot of enjoyment with the whole activity. Google Vertical Wall gardens
Last August I attended the New Zealand Diversional Therapy Conference in Hamilton. While there on exhibition was a display of Décou page Art. The exhibitors had produced large decoupage scenes ranging from country craft to Christmas Trees with twinkling lights inserted for extra effect. They had taken Decoupaging to another level.
I have discovered a HACC newsletter it shows lots of courses and resources we can use. The one I found is based in the Northern region of Sydney and I am told we can access it by email:
I noticed on the internet that work is becoming available for Diversional Therapist in the eastern suburbs of Sydney who are AUSTSWIM trained. They require you to have or obtain a Bronze Medallion in Life Saving or an AUSTSWIM Teacher of Swimming and Water Safety and Teaching Adults is required. I have just started this training and it is achievable for most of you. It’s good to see an every expanding role for Diversional Therapist.
The Dementia Collaborative Research Centre in Sydney held many good forums in 2013 and the National Dementia Research Forum 2014 will be held in Sydney. I believe these Forums deliver us the best there is to offer when dealing with Dementia.
In concluding I personally found everything interesting and educational in 2013. As a Diversional Therapist and dealing with Dementia I am experiencing big challenges. I am experiencing more people with early onset Dementia, more people with disabilities and Dementia, people with Dementia staying home longer and in general numbers are increasing. But for many there is no extra staff or resources coming through to match the increasing demands. Maybe some of the interest points I have exposed may help you in some small way.
All the best for 2014.

Scroll to Top