Warrigal participates in unique study to measure how to improve the lives of older people living with dementia or delirium

Warrigal is currently recruiting volunteers in the Canberra region to participate in a unique research study at their Warrigal Stirling residential aged care home. The study will assess the impact that volunteers have on the lives of older people living with dementia or delirium, and brings awareness to this illness during Dementia Awareness Month (September).

The study will run for six months and will involve a team of volunteers dubbed the ‘Golden Angels’. Volunteers in the study will be trained in dementia-specific person-centred care to improve residents’ emotional wellbeing and comfort. Before their start at Warrigal Stirling, volunteers will gain a comprehensive understanding of dementia and delirium, how to understand and respond to behaviour changes that can occur, different communication techniques and a range of therapeutic activities.

Each volunteer will work in Warrigal Stirling wearing their gold polo shirt to make them easily identifiable, while they spend quality time with residents living with dementia or delirium.

The study is in partnership with the Aged Care Evaluation Unit at Southern NSW Local Health District. The study aims to shine a light on older Australians living with dementia or delirium, and the benefits of increased quality social interaction to people living with this illness. After the research study has concluded, the Golden Angel volunteer program will remain in place.

Warrigal CEO, Mark Sewell, commented “There are more than 400,000 Australians currently living with dementia, so there is a real need to invest time into how we can not only combat this illness, but to improve the lives of those already living with it. We’re looking forward to seeing the results of our Golden Angels volunteer program out of our Warrigal Stirling care home and look forward to potentially implementing this program to all of our homes across the ACT and NSW.”

Clinical Research Officer from Southern NSW LHD, Annaliese Blair, said “This wonderful volunteer program was developed in our rural hospitals where a large research study found that volunteer care gave families a sense of relief and supported hospital staff in their care of older people living with dementia or delirium. We’ve had lots of aged care homes interested in adapting this program and we now have funding to do so. We’re very excited to evaluate the outcomes for residents, staff, families and volunteers.”

Warrigal are recruiting for Golden Angel volunteers to join their team in Canberra. Volunteers are provided with comprehensive training, so no experience is necessary. Vaccinated volunteers are allowed to enter aged care homes during the current COVID-19 lockdown due to the essential nature of the care they provide.

For anyone who is interested in joining the Warrigal team as a Golden Angel, email volunteering@warrigal.com.au or visit their website to learn about their latest opportunities at: https://bit.ly/3AqVlNG




Media Contact: Elsbeth Olalia | Community Relations Manager | M +61 (4) 3665 5808

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Warrigal was founded by volunteers and they continue to be vital to ensuring our residents happiness. From driving buses to regular visits, even assisting with our business operations, we have many varied opportunities for anyone who would like to donate their time, energy and skills to Warrigal’s residents.

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