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Welcome to Caladenia

Founded in 1983, Caladenia Dementia Care is a not-for-profit agency providing respectful care and support for people living with dementia and their carers. We are located in a purpose-designed building in Mooroolbark, in Melbourne's outer east.

Our Day Centre runs five days per week with a variety of dementia-specific respite and recreational programs to meet the needs of people living with varying degrees of dementia. There are two men-specific outing groups, as well as a group that runs further out in the Yarra Valley for those in more rural areas.

Our services include support, information and advocacy for carers, as well as a monthly carer support group. Our services to carers are available to anyone in the community caring for a person living with dementia. Caladenia's programs are overseen by 20 qualified staff and 45 trained volunteers. Currently we provide services to over 60 people each week.

Our programs aim to promote self-esteem for the person living with dementia and to give friends and family members a break, knowing that their loved one is happy, meaningfully occupied and safe.

Our services are available to anyone with dementia - from very early stage, or first diagnosis - to separate programs for people with more advanced dementia.

Caladenia Dementia Care is supported by funding from the Australian Government Department of Health under the Community Home Support Program, and from the Victorian Government's Home and Community Care Program. Caladenia also receives funds from the Yarra Ranges Council, and some private donations. It is administered by a full-time Manager and a volunteer Board of Directors.

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Manager's Annual Report 2016

It has been a year of change in the community care sector. After 3 years of transition the HACC program in Victoria transitioned on July 1st to the Commonwealth Home Support Service. While our programs remain unchanged, offstage we now have different funding and reporting responsibilities, and a different way of accepting referrals.

It has been a full and productive year for us. Our programs have responded to the changing needs of our clientele, which has meant a full and varied program of activities. We have had entertainers, singers, line dancers. We have visited museums and been sailing. Our group members have had input into the menus and meals and in one case helped cook a favourite recipe.

Our programs certainly provide respite for family members, a chance for them to have a break or get things done - but just as importantly we provide a chance for people living with dementia to socialise, make friends and have a laugh, and a place just for them amongst people who accept them just as they are. Many members take great pleasure in talking with family and friends about "Their Club". This is so important for people living with dementia, because it is known that despite all good intentions it can get harder to continue in mainstream social groups, and friends can slip away or lose contact.

I believe that no agency or organisation operates well in isolation. We are part of a larger community of services and agencies - and it can only benefit us to work alongside others, sharing ideas and knowledge for a better outcome. Caladenia has been involved in other activities in the sector this year such as "Dancin Dayz" event funded through Yarra Ranges Council and in partnership with Heather Hill - Dance Therapist, "The Time of Your Life" Seniors Expo in conjunction with Yarra Ranges Council, and the Songwriting project that you will hear more about from our guest speakers.

During the last twelve months we have run training in Croydon, Warragul, Frankston and South Kingsville for DHHS, we have spoken at Probus, at Warburton RSL and Healesville Community House. We have been on Radio Eastern, and spoken to the Chirnside Park Seniors.

I also spoke at the Dementia and Recreation Conference this year with a presentation titled "Let's Talk About Lingerie". What a successful session!

Caladenia has always had a wonderful reputation, but I believe that it is our willingness to be involved, to contribute to discussions, forums, training and networks - to think outside our core business, and contribute to the wider community for the benefit of people living with dementia that has enhanced our good name - but also advantages us on so many levels.

My thanks as always to the wonderful team of staff at Caladenia = they always go above and beyond.

To our fabulous Volunteers - you know we could not do this without you.

And my thanks to Harry and the Board for their support and leadership throughout the year.

Sarah Yeates


Sand Sculptures

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.

Inspecting the sand sculptures

Inspecting the sand sculptures

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 varied ways.

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.

Walking on the shore

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