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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 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

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

Come to our Grand Trivia Night!

Friday 20 April

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