Dalmeny IRT is looking for volunteers to spend time with residents living with dementia and participate in a study to help the region establish better patient care.
IRT Dalmeny Aged Care Centre is seeking people to participate in a study that will evaluate the role of volunteers in the life of residents living with dementia.
Volunteers will be trained in dementia-specific person-centred care to improve residents' emotional wellbeing and comfort.
Residents like Pauline Miles' husband Allan, who is living with Lewy body dementia, will benefit from the volunteer program.
"I think it's a terrific idea to have volunteers come in and spend time with them," Mrs Miles said.
"I spend time with Allan most days and a lot of the residents would really enjoy having someone come to talk with them or just sit quietly and keep them company.
"Allan is softly spoken and would really like for someone to just come and sit quietly with him. Sometimes he gets a bit mischievous and has me laughing but mostly he's a quiet man."
Before volunteers start, they will gain a comprehensive understanding of dementia and delirium, how to understand and respond to behaviour changes that can occur, different communication techniques and a range of therapeutic activities.
Southern New South Wales Local Health District (SNSWLHD) researcher, Catherine Bateman, has had a positive experience working on the program so far.
"Volunteers in the program will be trained to give important emotional reassurance to residents living with dementia and engage with them in meaningful activities," she said.
"This is not only enormously beneficial to the resident to have this dedicated one-on-one time, but it will also give staff and family members a sense of wellbeing that someone is with their loved one."
The Volunteer Dementia and Delirium Care Program (VDDCP) was first established at Bega Hospital in 2009.
The study will evaluate how the VDDCP can improve the lives of aged care residents living with dementia by optimising the role of volunteers.
The study has been funded $591,000 from the Dementia Centre for Research Collaboration and was run in partnership with three Southern New South Wales Local Health District researchers, Catherine Bateman, Annaliese Blair and Dr Katrina Anderson.
To volunteer in the program visit irt.org.au/careers or call 02 4221 1031.