Breakfast Club marks a fresh start for residential dementia care

New Montefiore Dementia Model

We’re heading towards the new Montefiore Dementia Model, with breakfast just the beginning as we roll out a new model for specialist dementia care in Sydney.

Something as simple as making your own toast and coffee in the morning may not seem like a big deal, but for a small group of residents living with dementia in the Randwick Special Care Unit, it’s the first step towards implementing our innovative new model of support. The Montefiore Dementia Model (MDM) will create smaller, more home-like spaces and greater engagement in everyday activities, especially food – with the support of staff in the new role of ‘Homemaker’.

Ahead of the renovations now complete, Dementia Specialist Dr Jacki Wesson worked with the SCU team and Catering Department to create the ‘Breakfast Club’ as a demonstration project to inform future steps. Explains Jacki: “This was just a taste of how we intend life in our dementia units to evolve.”

The response from residents, staff and families was positive. Where usually residents would take their breakfast over the counter or wait to be served in the dining area, during Breakfast Club there was a new buzz about the SCU kitchen. Residents chose and poured their favourite cereal, cracked and mixed eggs to cook on the stove and thoroughly enjoyed making and eating their own hot buttered toast. Homemakers provided support by coordinating the meal and engaging residents in parts of the process, then all enjoyed their fresh cooked breakfast.

The MDM is moving towards dementia care residents living in clusters of 10-20 people, with greater participation in daily activities. As in most homes, the kitchen will be the hub. “Current research shows that small-scale living and meaningful participation offer significant benefits for people living with dementia in residential care,” says Jacki, “so we are looking forward to the completion of renovations at Randwick in May, and the eventual rollout of the MDM to other campuses.”