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Spotlight on: Mt Gravatt Memory Support Unit

Tricare’s Mt Gravatt Aged Care Residence offers a range of Residential Aged Care options, including Respite Care, Permanent Care, Palliative Care and Dementia Care. As part of their Dementia Care services, the residence features a secure Memory Support Unit (MSU).

With such wonderful and caring staff at Mt Gravatt, the Clinical and Lifestyle Teams have developed a fantastic activity program tailored to our resident’s needs, focusing on engaging those in the Memory Support Unit. Their calendar for MSU residents is designed to include activities to suit a variety of individual preferences in addition to one-on-one time with staff. While some residents in the Memory Support Unit will take part in the facility’s main activities calendar, the team has found that by providing a full activity calendar dedicated to MSU residents, they witness more engagement and enjoyment.

A typical day in Mt Gravatt’s Memory Support Unit

Activities and therapies for MSU residents are developed to maximise participation and fun, as well as to improve memory or reduce dementia symptoms. Here is a sample of the activities offered in a day in the MSU:

Over time, the team at Mt Gravatt Aged Care Residence have worked hard to identify which activities are the most engaging for residents, particularly in the MSU. For example, they have found that residents respond very positively to mindfulness activities each day at sundowning time, a practice that has been known to improve sleep patterns and reduce stress levels for those with dementia.

They have also found that music and exercise each day is greatly beneficial and that the resident therapy dog, Harry, is popular and calming for MSU residents. The team is continuously working on ideas and strategies to help MSU residents with a person-centred approach empowering them to set and work towards their goals.

A thoughtful response to memory support

Dementia impacts close to half a million Australians currently, and that number is set to double in the next 25 years. With so many Australians impacted by dementia, it is more important than ever that we develop and practice a high level of understanding when supporting affected family and friends.

Bhargavi Patel, Clinical Manager at TriCare’s Mt Gravatt Aged Care Residence, has found that an approach which validates an individual’s experiences and feelings is most effective.

“Validation approach works well. Rather than trying to bring the person with dementia back to our reality, it is more positive to enter their reality.

“Music therapy can also help in the management of changed behaviours. The big advantage of music is that it does not require a long attention span and it can be a valuable trigger for reminiscing.”

All of TriCare’s Aged Care Residences offer a variety of therapies and activities for our residents with cognitive impairments, including pet therapy, art therapy, garden therapy, and of course, music therapy.

By being responsive to residents’ needs, applying a validation approach, and offering a rich activity program, the Mt Gravatt MSU team are supporting people living with dementia to continue to live well for many years after a diagnosis.

To learn more about the Mt Gravatt Memory Support Unit, you can get in touch with them here or contact us by clicking below.

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