Braemar House in East Fremantle is excited to have become a finalist in this year’s Aged and Community Services of Australia’s Excellence in Care Awards in the ‘Innovation in Service or Design’ category.

The 58 room facility has been singled out for an innovative dementia initiative, which it successfully rolled out late last year.

Called the Lee House Family Tree project, the initiative is aimed at fostering genuine relationship-centred care and better connections between those living with dementia, and their neighbours also residing at Braemar House who do not have the condition, by creating a ‘pen pal’ opportunity for residents.

Braemar Presbyterian Care Chief Executive, Wayne Belcher OAM, says the project aimed to encourage inclusion, create bonds and form relationships between those in the more secure parts of the aged care facility and those who were not affected by dementia, creating a better environment for everyone and reducing the stigma associated with the condition.

“Becoming a finalist in the ACSA Awards is a great acknowledgement of the wonderful work being done on a daily basis at Braemar House. We are delighted to have our dementia initiative recognised by one of Australia’s leading aged care bodies, as it highlights how important it is for people with dementia to feel valued, connected and part of a community,” he says.

In addition, Mr Belcher has been named a finalist in the ‘Lifetime of Achievement’ category for his significant contribution to aged care since 1982. Winners will be announced at a gala ceremony on 13 July at Crown Perth.

With over 200 people in their care, Braemar operate three residential aged care facilities in the City of Melville and East Fremantle area, specialising in dementia care and palliative support.