Australian-first dementia care model successfully implemented

The Salvation Army Aged Care Plus’ implementation of the revolutionary, Australian-first, dementia care model, the ‘Butterfly Household Model of Care’, is now complete.


Final results report the significant effects the Model has had on the life, health and wellbeing of residents living with dementia. The model was successfully implemented at Mountain View Aged Care Plus Centre at Narrabundah, ACT and The Aged Care Plus Centre at Chapel Hill, QLD.


Final results of the Model’s implementation at the Mountain View Aged Care Plus Centre and The Cairns Aged Care Plus Centre respectively, reported 100 per cent stabilisation in pain levels, a 75 per cent and 50 per cent reduction in expressive behaviours respectively, and a 70 per cent and 81 per cent reduction in falls respectively. Mountain View Aged Care Plus Centre also reported a 100 per cent reduction in residents whom require psychotropic medication.


The Salvation Army Aged Care Plus’ implementation of Dementia Care Matters ‘Butterfly Household Model of Care’ has received significant industry recognition for its contribution to innovative dementia care delivery. In April 2017 the Salvation Army Aged Care Plus was awarded the Best Dementia Care Philosophy award at the Asia Pacific Eldercare Innovation Awards in Singapore, and in August 2017 it won a Better Practice Award from the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency.


Developed, pioneered and operated by UK-based Dementia Care Matters, the Butterfly Household Model of Care challenges the traditional clinical approach to care, shifting to a person-centred model that empowers residents to live their way of life. The Model focuses on achieving culture change through its philosophy of ‘Feelings Matter Most’. Daily routines give way to a relaxed, unscheduled day allowing residents to openly express their feelings and desires and participate in activities that they want to do such as cleaning, gardening and reading.


Aged Care Plus Acting CEO, Mr Carel Bothma says the incredible results following the Model’s completed implementation proves that a person-centred model is most effective when caring for persons living with dementia.


“Focusing on the feelings of a person living with dementia and tailoring the care approach to meet that individual’s unique needs, is at the heart of the Model. We have replaced task-oriented care routines with relaxed homelike experiences. The staff implementing the Model are considered to be family, and the benefits of this emotional connectivity has had a significant impact on the physical, psychological and social wellness of the persons living with dementia,” Mr Bothma said.


The Salvation Army Aged Care Plus is an industry leader in the provision of physical, emotional and spiritual care. This led to their selection by Dementia Care Matters as one of only two aged care providers in Australia to launch the ‘Butterfly Household Model of Care’ in two of it’s centres. Since implementation the Model’s implementation in July 2016, final results report significant improvements in the quality of life of its residents living with dementia.


These results can be attributed to the physical, cultural and environmental changes that have occurred at the Centres. Changes include interior and structural changes to the homes themselves, to reflect the brighter home-like environments for increased interaction; a reorganisation of residents living with dementia to ensure they can interact with those experiencing the same level of dementia; and a no-uniform policy with employees wearing everyday clothing to work. Staff have also undertaken intensive UK-based training focusing on emotional intelligence to connect with the residents.


Families of residents living with dementia are also pleased with the positive results. Harry and Sarah, whose mother is a resident at Mountain View Aged Care Plus Centre, said: “The Model is not a one size fits all approach. We like that she’s not only cared for physically, but also emotionally. We like the way that she’s hugged and kissed and told that she’s valued and loved. It’s important for her whole wellbeing and that’s what the Butterfly Household Model of Care does really well.”


The sentiment of staff implementing the model in the Centre’s is equally positive. Tania Da Fonesca, Centre Manager at The Cairns Aged Care Plus Centre said: “Being a part of their memories has been absolutely amazing and the stories they share with us about their past is incredible. That’s been the most rewarding moment for me, getting to know who that person really is. We wouldn’t have been able to make any of the positive progress we have made thus far if it wasn’t for the Butterfly Household Model of Care.”


Following the successful implementation of the innovative dementia care model, the Salvation Army Aged Care Plus launched the ‘Butterfly Household Model of Care’ at its Elizabeth Jenkins Place Aged Care Plus Centre in Collaroy, NSW, in October 2017. The organisation is passionate about making this innovative, award-winning and quality-of-life-improving model of dementia care accessible to ageing Australians, and is in the process of determining how the Model will be implemented across its Australian Centres in the years to come.


7 June 2018.