Manager's Report 2017
Caladenia, her staff, volunteers and Board have completed another busy year.
Ten years ago in 2006, we reported 14,700 hours of service provided to
70 people living with dementia. Ten years later and we have provided 21,400
hours to 97 people living with dementia.
Our programs and services have changed and expanded, as has our client base.
I said last year that no agency operates in isolation, and that is again
true of our programs and services this year. Caladenia has taken part in the
second phase of Dr Felicity Baker and Melbourne University's Songwriting for
people living with dementia, and we had double the amount of people participate.
Caladenia and Dr Heather Hill received a Community Grant from Yarra Ranges
Council to run "Creating Connections - You Me Us", a program specifically
designed to look at the relationship changes a couple encounters when one is
diagnosed with dementia - and to build tools and mechanisms to preserve the
loving relationship whilst navigating the changes that dementia brings.
Caladenia was contracted by Yarra Ranges Council to re-write and update
policy and procedure, as well as train staff and volunteers in wellness and
restorative care at a grass roots level.
We continue to host and chair the Outer Eastern Social Support Network,
as well as Chair the Yarra Ranges Positive Ageing Reference Group and remain
active on many other committees and forums.
In the last year the Strategy and Risk Committee has moved forward with
succession planning and upskilling staff so that we have the people with the
skills and experience to move forward and expand, given that opportunity.
Our carer support group continues to provide information and support to
family members and is well attended each month (although not quite as well
attended as the lunches out!); many thanks to the Yarra Ranges Council
Partnership Grant for their support of this vital part of our work.
And with our growth funding for Flexible Respite in this new financial
year we plan to expand and grow our services into new areas including in-home
respite, and smaller more flexible "on-demand" services and programs.
The programs that we provide to people living with dementia cover a wide
and varied range of social and recreational opportunities and experiences -
and it is a credit to all the staff and volunteers that the feedback is so
very positive. I know that the staff often go above and beyond to include
activities and ideas that not only meet the needs of each group - but also
cater to individual needs and interests. Our programs are widely regarded as
exemplary, and our centre is often used as the benchmark for best practice in the field.
As always I thank Caladenia's Board for their support and governance, our
staff for the remarkable work that they do, and our volunteers for their
support, enthusiasm and genuine regard for the people that we work with.
Sarah Yeates - Manager
Sandcastles are all about the here and now. They exist for a mere
moment of time and are washed away with the next tide. But the feelings of
enjoyment and achievement we gain through building them are ours forever.
So it is for many of the people living with dementia who attend our various
groups, outings and club days - the activities and venues themselves may
not make it into the long term memory - but the feelings of enjoyment,
camaraderie, friendship and laughter can only enrich each person's day,
whether it be for a minute, and hour or a year. It is always worth it.
Our men's group recently visited the sand sculptures on the foreshore at
Frankston, and the photos of the day are glorious. No one is ever too old to
enjoy a sand castle.
Our men's groups are for men with early to moderate dementia, and these
small groups visit a variety of venues across Melbourne that are of interest
to men. We also have a male staff member and a male volunteer accompany the
Program Leader, Cathy on the trips to encourage conversation and mateship.
The dynamics for a group of blokes are quite different to that of the ladies,
and the social and conversational needs of men have been proven to focus on
different styles and methods of communication. It is because of research into
this area that we have the burgeoning "Men's Shed" movement and groups such as
ours are now striving to meet the individual needs of both men and women in
Our men's group loved the day down at Frankston, and a couple of the group
took the opportunity to take off their shoes and walk through the edge of the
waves in the sand.
That's what it's all about. The opportunity for a chat with like minded
people and the feeling of sand between your toes.