Monday, 4 May 2015

Intro to Dementia & Dementia Dynamics Toolkit

Hello Caring for You Members,

This month we are discussing “Dementia” for our education blog.
Happy Reading J

Dementia is a general term which is used to describe various symptoms of cognitive decline which interfere with a person’s ability to attend to daily activities.

Dementia is caused by brain cell death and also neurodegenerative diseases.

The most common age for occurrence is >65 years, however it is not an age specific disease.

Alzheimer’s is the most common type of dementia which accounts for 60 – 80% of cases. There is no cure, however treatment for symptoms are available and research continues to grow within this field.

Depending on the part of the brain which is affected, symptoms do vary within individuals. Impairments to memory, communication and thinking are the main symptoms.

Examples of cognitive decline symptoms could include an individual when they:
  • Ask the same question repeatedly
  • Have difficulty doing daily tasks like making a cup of tea and then forget to drink it
  • Disorientated to time, place and/or person
  • Forget words
  • Experience difficulty with abstract thinking,
  • Misplace items
  • Display signs of personality changes (e.g. become fearful, irritable and suspicious)

By adopting the right practice and strategies for care, we as healthcare professionals can help support and assist people throughout the course of the disease.

This can be achieved by carers viewing the individual as a person, not just viewing the symptoms of the disease.

To help this process the “Dementia Dynamics Toolkit” was developed and throughout 2014/2015 has been in the process of being distributed and implemented within all residential aged care facilities.

This toolkit educates healthcare professionals on how to respond to behaviours of concern (aka “Responsive Behaviours”).
This new model focuses on “a person centred approach.”

Modern dementia care firstly revolves around the concept of people acknowledging that people with dementia are people with unique needs who deserve to be treated with respect and dignity.

The “person centred approach” considers past experiences, relationships with family and friends, interactions with staff members and the physical and social environment of a residential care facility all directly having a powerful impact on how an individual experiences the effects of dementia and therefore responds.

The model reinforces the importance of looking at the personality, life story, physical health, social preferences and the physical environment of the person with dementia and how this impacts their behaviours.

The “Dementia Dynamic Toolkit” highlights that the person and their well-being is more important than the task.

An individual’s behaviour is a form of communication. Behaviours can be demonstrated when people with dementia are unable to express their emotions with words. Invisible triggers like pain, infection, hunger, thirst, and emotions can trigger responsive behaviours.

Getting to know the individual can help explain these behaviours and crucial to best practice.

Reducing responsive behaviour will decrease stress and improve quality of life for the person with dementia. This will also make the social environment less stressful for other residents. Workplace stress levels and the workload for carers will also benefit from the incorporation of this tool.

Caring for You will be delivering education sessions in the coming months on the “Dementia Dynamics Toolkit.”

If you have an education topic you would like posted, please email

Kind Regards,
Lauren McIver
Nurse Educator
Caring for You Nursing Agency

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

4 Tips For Dealing With Stress As A Nurse

Nursing is an incredibly rewarding career, but it is not without its challenges and stressful moments. It can be a very physical, mental and emotionally demanding job to keep up with the changing needs of patients, long hours and heavy workloads. This is a reminder to nurses to not only take care of your patients but to look after yourselves as well.

Here are some helpful tips on how to cope with stress as a nurse!

#1: Communicate

Good communication with patients and staff is a proactive way to prevent stressful situations from occurring.

Poor communication between nurses and patients can lead to huge problems down the track. It’s better to be fully informed about the patient’s situation in order to keep on top of it.

It’s also great to talk to other staff members as well. If you are feeling overwhelmed or frustrated, express your concerns to another staff member or a mentor to help relieve the tension. They can help support you or clear up any uncertainties you may have.

#2: Get Organised

Spend some time to keep yourself and your work environment organised. A disorganised workplace can lead to chaos and confusion, which is just added stress.

Take a moment to prioritize your workload and allow yourself to take a little extra time to complete tasks. This will lead to a clearer mind and more efficient workplace.

#3: Maintain A Healthy Routine

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is an excellent way to combat stress. It’s as simple as - sticking to a good diet, keeping hydrated, regularly exercising and ensuring that you get enough sleep.

These practices will improve your efficiency, endurance and tolerance; which will in turn help you from becoming stressed.  

#4: Balance Work And Play

Don’t just work all the time. Make some time for fun and laughter! Taking part in leisure activities, such as our events, is a great way to take the tension out of your work life.

Lastly, always remember to just breathe. Sometimes it’s the simplest things that will make the most positive impact when it comes to relieving stress.

As a nurse, how do you deal with stress?

Monday, 23 March 2015

Dear Caring for You Nurses,

 Some helpful facts and hints in regards to Manual Handling:

·      - As defined by the ANF, “Manual Handling is any activity that requires the use of force exerted by a person to lift, carry, lower, push, pull move or hold any item. Manual handling involves performing repetitive activities, sustained muscle exertion and fixed postures.”

·      - Fortunately most manual handling injuries are preventable if workplace policies and safe work practices are followed.

·      - Patients should be encouraged (when safe to do so) to assist in their own transfers.

Manual Handling 
·      - Mechanical lifting aids help reduce risk of injury to both healthcare workers and patient’s/resident’s. Healthcare workers must follow the current “Workplace Health and Safety Act.

·      The two most common manual handling injuries include sprains and strains of the musculoskeletal system.

·      All healthcare workers who handle activities are at risk of an injury.

·      To decrease the risk of a manual handling injury occurring, healthcare workers need to identify, assess and manage risks.

·     Risk factors can include environmental hazards (wet floors), a non-co-operative patient/resident, unsuitable equipment, and staff shortages. 

·     Our thigh muscles are the strongest muscles in our body.

·     During transfers, first bend and then slowly straighten the knees.

·     Always ask for assistance from fellow workers. Teamwork is important to ensure we are all SAFE in our workplace.

·     It is not until we sustain an injury that we realise how much we take our bodies for granted.

·     If you have any manual handling or “no lIft” queries please do not hesitate to email

Thank you members for taking the time to read our education blogs.

Kind Regards,
Lauren McIver
Nurse Educator

Sunday, 15 March 2015

How to Gain and Prepare For an Interview at Caring For You

Hello potential Caring For You Members!

I want to pass on some pointers to help you to gain an interview with Caring for You. 
Want to stand out? This is what we look for in a resume:

  • ·       Outline your qualification/s and where you have studied
  • ·       Agency can be daunting for even the most experienced staff and ideally we want you to be experienced. A minimum of 6 months experience within the industry to be exact! This allows you to be able to go to all different workplaces and feel confident to get the job done.
  • ·       If you are a Nurse who has recently graduated we like you to have had some exposure to the Health industry preferably as a PCA or as an EEN. On your Resume include where you have completed your Clinical placements.
  • ·       We also need to see that you have all documents up to date and current. These include First Aid, CPR, Police Check, WWCC & of course AHPRA Registration.
  • ·       Overall, we are looking for staff members that have a genuine passion for the Health industry and are reliable and suitable for Agency work. We need staff members that will answer their phone and are excited to be a part of our team.

These are some of the main points and probably the most important points we are looking for at the start of the recruitment process. It is easier to have attached your Resume at the application process for us to assess.

Our Recruitment process starts from the moment you submit your interest via our website. Our team looks over every single application that comes in by viewing your Resume and looking for the main points outlined above.

We will contact you over the phone and go through some questions relating to your experience and what it is you would like to gain from your employment with us.

If you tick the boxes for what we are looking for we will invite you in for an interview, which is very different to other Agencies out there.

We take the interview process very seriously and it is definitely not a given that if you have an interview that you will get to work with us.

You will be required to complete the registration process which is basically entering in all details including Training, Immunisations, Financial details Etc. We also encourage you to present like you would for any other interview and have all documents required in physical form as well.

We really value references! This is the hardest part of our process! We need you to have a minimum of 2 references that we are able to contact before your interview with us. Once your interview has been completed along with References then you will become a Member of our Agency!


Britt, Recruitment Manager