Bringing dementia care model to Victoria

As a leading provider of dementia specific care, HammondCare has taken first steps to sharing its internationally acclaimed approach in Victoria.

General Manager Strategic Projects and Integration, David Martin, said HammondCare believes Victoria has many opportunities for better dementia care and had begun exploring how it could apply its model of dementia-specific residential and community care.

“A scoping study in 2013 identified, through extensive interviews with healthcare professionals and representatives of government and carer organisations, that while there are many aged care providers operating in Melbourne, there are very few who have chosen to focus solely on caring for people with dementia," Mr Martin said.

"We found that HammondCare’s model would suit Melbourne and that a dementia-specific residential care home would be welcomed and endorsed by the professionals who advise families on options for placing clients into care."

Growing Victorian presence

HammondCare opened its Victorian office in North Melbourne in January but this is not HammondCare's first involvement in the state. HammondCare's Dementia Centre has been providing training and consultancy to aged care services based in Victoria (as well as other states and internationally) during 2012 and 2013.

According to Mr Martin, feedback from this work indicates there is growing interest among aged care providers for advice and support on good aged care design, night time care and dementia-specific service delivery. An early indication of this was a successful Night Time Care training event held in Melbourne in February featuring author and dementia consultant Diana Kerr which was attended by a range of aged care managers, social workers, nurses and care workers.

Plans for providing care

David Martin said a key goal was for HammondCare to open one or more "of our unique dementia-specific aged care homes" in Melbourne and to also support those living at home with dementia through community care services.

“We also want to support and encourage the entire aged care community in Victoria through sharing our insights and research on dementia care and dementia design. And to extend this through regular training events, design schools and consultancy.

"An example is that the Dementia Centre will run its first Design School in Melbourne in May to support the capability for good design in aged care. We expect that many local architects, builders, aged care providers and government representatives will be interested and keen to attend.”

Returning to Victorian roots

Mr Martin said that while HammondCare was well-known as a NSW charity and health and aged care provider, its founder, Rev Bob Hammond, was born in Brighton, in south-east Melbourne, in 1870 and went to School at Melbourne Church of England Grammar School. He was a ordained as an Anglican clergyman in Melbourne in 1894 and initially ministered in churches in Melbourne, then in rural Victoria before moving to Sydney.

Essendon Football Club has also confirmed that Rev Hammond played with the club in the late 1880s or early 1890s and other sources report he was part of a premierships winning team - if you can help confirm this, please let us know!