daniel calleja, team leader & senior occupational therapist, merri health

Merri Health’s Specialist Memory and Dementia Service offers a unique model of care for clients who are living at home with dementia. The service offers support not only to client’s but also to service providers and family carers.
The presentation will outline key components of the model to conference delegates. The outline will include key considerations of the model such as:
• Providing non-time limited interventions.
• Broad admission criteria for the program ie: clients will be seen and supported across all stages of dementia from pre-diagnosis to end stage dementia.
• Intensive, non-time limited support (ie open duration of support) for changed behaviours related to dementia within the client’s home.
• A unique focus of offering home based envrionmmental audits based on dementia design principles.
• The team treats holistically and understands the person, their symptoms, their physical and social environment, their lifestyle, history and preferences. All these elements must be taken into consideration and respected and supported. Therefore, a full allied health and medical team is available for all client who access the service.
• Individualised, goal focused support is provided to carers from social workers within the team.
• Interventions focused on reablement underpin the support provided.
• Clients can re-present for as many episodes of care as required as the team acknowldeges the freqeuntly changing support needs of clients living with dementia.
Each of the key aspects of the service will be outlined as to why the model of care was structured in this way. Furthermore, a review of the available evidence will be summarised to outline the benefits of adopting this model of care for people living with dementia in their own homes.
The presentation will also outline how the care model adopted by Merri Health focuses on the clinical practice guidelines for dementia as well as reabelement approaches to support people with dementia to maintain their independence in the community. In line with the theme of the conference, the presentation will outline that the holistic element of the service, the whole team approach of supporting clients from prodromal clinical presentation to end stage dementia, and the intensive, non-time limited scope of the service provides a unique model delivering better care for people with dementia living at home. Recommendations from the model will be provided to outline how emerging and existing dementia care programs can be shaped to provide better care for our ageing population.

photo for LASA submission

Day 3, 11:00am – 11:30am – Innovative dementia service supporting clients and carers through all stages of dementia in the community.

Daniel Calleja has worked for 18 years in various clinical roles as an Occupational Therapist in aged and dementia care in hospital, community and residential settings. He has also held the position of dementia project manager within Western Health’s dementia unit, and principal researcher in the “My Story, My Life” reminiscence project on the secure dementia unit at Melbourne Health.
Daniel has presented nationally and internationally on various topics in dementia care. He is the co-author of a commonwealth government resource manual: “Using Reminiscence with People with Dementia in Sub-Acute & Acute Care.”
His clinical experience includes leadership roles, project management, education and consultancy roles in dementia care.
Daniel also holds has a Graduate Diploma of Arts (Counselling) and a Cert 4 in Training and Assessment.
He is currently employed as the Team Leader and Senior Occupational Therapist at the Specialist Memory and Dementia Service and Reablement program, Merri Health.