Welcome to our March 2019 newsletter, where we take a look at:
Tricky Topic #2 - Dementia Friendly Communities
My Health Record
Tricky Topic #2 - Dementia Friendly Communities
What is Dementia?
Dementia is not a normal part of the aging process. Approximately 10% of people over the age of 65 live with dementia.
Dementia is a term used to describe a group of symptoms of a group of degenerative diseases of the brain. The most common disease which causes dementia is Alzheimer's.
The symptoms of the disease affect the brain, which results in nerve cell and brain tissue death. This in turn affects a person’s memory, intellectual abilities, social skills and emotional reactions. It can also result in changes to a person’s personality and their ability to maintain relationships.
What are the key factors to a dementia friendly community?
All community members are aware and understand dementia.
People living with dementia continue to be active participants in their own lives.
Medical and Care staff are educated about dementia and treat people with dementia with respect and empathy.
Businesses provide accessible services to people with dementia including having staff who understand dementia and know how to communicate effectively.
The physical environment enables people living with dementia to get out and about safely.
Assisting community members living with dementia
For someone living with Dementia it is essential for them to feel safe, secure and valued. This enables them to maintain independence for longer and engage with their community more effectively.
Click here to view a film of Mary as she encounters people in her community. Watch how a little bit of extra time and consideration can make all the difference to the daily life for people living with dementia.
What not to say or do to a person living with dementia
Don’t say “but I’ve just told you that”.
Kate Swaffer, diagnosed with early onset dementia, has compiled a list of 20 things not to say or do to a person living with dementia.
Dry mouth is the apt name for when you do not have enough saliva in your mouth. Discomfort of dry mouth can vary from mild to severe. If left untreated, you may have difficulty speaking, chewing and swallowing.
Dry mouth affects the level of saliva in your mouth, and this lack of saliva can:
Cause the taste of food to change
Cause a sore throat
Cause a hoarse voice
Cause bad breath
Cause you gums to feel sore and your dentures painful to wear
Common causes of Dry Mouth
Certain medications and or medical treatments
The following tips may help relieve the symptoms.
Brush your teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste, use dental floss daily and rinse your mouth with mouthwash.
Reduce intake of sugary, acidic foods and drinks, for example fruit juice, cordial, soft drink and alcohol.
Sip on plain tap water, suck on ice chips or spray water into your mouth.
Use water-based lip balm if your lips are dry.
Eat foods which require chewing to stimulate saliva production.
Chew sugar-free gum or lollies between meals.
Ask you Pharmacist or GP to check your inhaler technique. Use a spacer device & rinse your mouth with water after each use.
Chat with your GP
If you are experiencing dry mouth, it is recommended you chat with your GP, as several medicines may be the cause. An adjustment to your dosage may be required, or you may need a medicines review.
If a medication review is required, this free of charge service can be arranged through Gunn & McConville Pharmacy.
Chat to your dentist
As dry mouth can increase your chance of dental cavities and other oral health issues, it is important to mention this condition to your dentist at your annual check up. Your dentist will be able to provide advice on how to manage the condition and which products are best for you to use. A letter from your GP outlining your medical history and list of medications would be useful to take with you.
My Health Record is a collection of your health information collected from you, your healthcare providers and Medicare.
A My Health Record will be created for you after January 31, 2019. You can choose to opt in or opt out at any time in your life. It’s your choice.
Information from healthcare professionals
Healthcare providers, including pharmacists, can add clinical documents to your record, including:
Shared health summary (overview of your health)
Hospital discharge summaries
Reports from test and scans, like blood tests
Medications that your doctor has prescribed to you
Referral letters from your doctor(s)
Information from Medicare
Up to two years of past Medicare data may be added to your record when you first get one, including:
Medicare and Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) information
Organ donation decisions
Immunisations which are included in the Australian Immunisation Register
Information you can add
You, or someone authorised to represent you, can share additional information. This includes:
Allergy information & any previous allergic reactions
Indigenous, Veterans’ or Australian Defence Force status
Your advance care plan or contact details of your custodian
Advantages to the My Health Record
Personally controlled - It’s your choice who sees your My Health Record and what’s in it
A secure system - My Health Record has strong safeguards in place to protect your information. There are strict rules and regulations about who can see and use your My Health Record
Access to your key health information in an emergency - In a medical emergency, healthcare providers see your health information such as allergies, medicines and immunisations, enabling them to provide you with the best possible treatment and care
Your health information in one place - Your health information will be available in one place, easily accessed by your doctors, specialists or hospitals. You can access your health information from any computer or device connected to the internet
For Health Care Professionals
Avoid adverse drug events - A signification proportion of medication errors that lead to harmful medication safety incidents and Adverse Drug Events (ADE) may be preventable through increased accessibility to patient information