There is growing recognition of the need for post-diagnostic support for people with dementia and carers that meets their individual needs, mobility and personal preferences, while also providing opportunity for social engagement and peer support.
The Sustainable Personalised Interventions for Cognition, Care, and Engagement (SPICE) program is a new multi-component intervention which aims to address this need in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT).
SPICE is an intensive 12-week program for people with dementia and carers that combines multiple evidence-based components. The SPICE program promotes quality of life and physical and functional capacity among participants, as well as a toolkit of strategies and resources for the future.
The program includes:
- Physical activity for both people with dementia and carers tailored to their abilities
- Cognitive stimulation therapy – a semi-structured discussion and activity program
- Comprehensive nutritional assessment
- A carer education, mindfulness, and capacity building program
- Care of People with dementia in their Environments (COPE) program
The SPICE program is primarily delivered twice per week by Canberra Health Services allied health professionals at the University of Canberra Hospital, but also includes ten home visits from an occupational therapist and three appointments with a dietitian.
People living in the ACT with a mild or moderate dementia diagnosis and their primary carer may be eligible to participate in the SPICE program. The program is free and participants will receive a $100 gift voucher to help offset travel expenses.
Pictured above are three of the clinicians delivering the SPICE program: Julie Bishop, Michelle Bennett, Rosalie Brennan.
*The SPICE program is supported by the Dementia Australia Research Foundation Hazel Hawke Research Grant in Dementia Care.