The Power of Nature
Volume 11 Issue 3 2022 Jul / Aug / Sep
Issue 3 Jul / Aug / Sep 2022

The Power of Nature

The Power of Nature

Inside this issue

Improving accommodation in residential aged care

Feb 01 2023 3 min read Feature Articles
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Ask a neuroscientist…

Feb 01 2023 5 min read Ask a Neuroscientist
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Subscriber only content

Project updates and viewpoints

Improving accommodation in residential aged care

The report of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety recommended the creation of “a comprehensive set of National Aged Care Design Principles and Guidelines” to improve the design of residential aged care accommodation.

It’s time: ARIIA’s blueprint for transforming aged care

In so many cases, it’s not that we don’t have the research and evidence about best practice in aged care; we just haven’t done enough to translate that knowledge into better practice on the ground. That’s the challenge being addressed by Aged care Research and Industry Innovation Australia (ARIIA). Research director, Professor Sue Gordon, explains.

AJDC asks

What do you hope the Australian Government’s new ARIIA at Flinders University will achieve for people living with dementia?

Ask a neuroscientist…

‘How do genes influence the risk of Alzheimer’s disease?’

Ask the experts who are living the experience…

What makes a venue ‘dementia friendly’?

Taking action to support veterans with dementia

Claudia Meyer, Xanthe Golenko and Judy Lowthian are evaluating the implementation of a program of music and reminiscence therapy, sensory modulation and exercise as a means of reducing responsive behaviours and depression for Australian Defence Force veterans.

Green Scripts: prescribing nature as therapy

A group of committed local dementia advocates in Ballarat, Victoria, has developed a program to help people living with dementia to better connect with nature in all its goodness. Caroline Gibson and Mark Yates tell the story.

A family’s perspective on care

Ben Johnston and his family, from Melbourne, share their experience of dementia and lessons learned with other families and caregivers.

Research Focus

Not left behind: considering future transport technologies for people living with dementia

The evolving transport landscape presents some challenges, especially for people living with dementia and the care partners supporting them. This was the subject of a study by a multidisciplinary team from University of Queensland and Deakin University.

Dementia research: taking stock

With a new government in Canberra, it is timely to review the dementia research horizon and take a pulse check. By Professor Henry Brodaty and Professor Elizabeth Beattie.


Montessori-inspired care: changing lives for the better

Jade Cartwright, Elizabeth Oliver, Anne Kelly and Anne Whitworth have been involved in implementing and evaluating Montessori models of care and interventions across aged care organisations in Australia. Here they share a blueprint, with practical strategies.

Whither (or wither) public involvement in dementia research in Australia?

Involving lay people, including those with ‘lived experience’, in the design, implementation and reporting of research is much discussed and widely understood to be best practice, but are Australian researchers living up to the rhetoric, asks Dr Jane Thompson.

Plus the latest dementia research news, resources and events.


Ask a neuroscientist: How do genes influence the risk of Alzheimer’s disease?

Taking action to support veterans with dementia

  • Aged Care Sector Committee Diversity Sub-group, Department of Health (2017) Aged Care Diversity Framework. Canberra: Department of Health.
  • Meziab O, Kirby K, Williams B et al (2014) Prisoner of war status, post-traumatic stress disorder, and dementia in older veterans. Alzheimer’s & Dementia 10(Supp 3), S236-41.
  • Qureshi S, Kimbrell T, Pyne J et al (2010) Greater Prevalence and Incidence of Dementia in Older Veterans with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 58, 1627-33.
  • Dallam D, Mellman T, Bhatnagar A et al (2011) Trauma Re-Enactments in Aging Veterans with Dementia. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 59(4) 766-768.
  • Yaffe K, Vittinghoff E, Lindquist K (2010) Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Risk of Dementia Among US Veterans. Archives of General Psychiatry 67(6) 608-13.
  • Dunt D, Doyle C, MacFarlane A et al (2012) The Impact of War Experiences on Dementia in Veterans. Melbourne: University of Melbourne.
  • Meyer C, O’Keefe F (2018) Non-Pharmacological Interventions for People with Dementia: A Review of Reviews. Dementia 19(6) 1927-1954.
  • Cummings J, Mega M, Gray K et al (1994) The Neuropsychiatric Inventory: Comprehensive Assessment of Psychopathology in Dementia. Neurology 44(12) 2308-14.
  • Mahoney F, Barthel D (1965) Functional Evaluation: The Barthel Index: A Simple Index of Independence Useful in Scoring Improvement in the Rehabilitation of the Chronically Ill. Maryland State Medical Journal 14, 61-65.
  • De Morton N, Lane K (2010) Validity and Reliability of the de Morton Mobility Index in the Subacute Hospital Setting in a Geriatric Evaluation and Management Population. Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine 42(10) 956-61.
  • Jorm A, MacKinnon A (1995) The Psychogeriatric Assessment Scales. Canberra: Australian National University.
  • Alexopoulos G, Abrams RC, Young RC, Shamoian CA (1988) Cornell Scale for Depression in Dementia. Biological Psychiatry 23(3) 271-84.

Green Scripts: prescribing nature as therapy

  • Pretty J, Peacock J, Sellens M, Griffin M (2005) The Mental and Physical Health Outcomes of Green Exercise. International Journal of Environmental Health Research 15(5) 319-37.
  • Kaplan R (2001) The Nature of the View from Home: Psychological Benefits. Environment and Behavior 33(4) 507-42.
  • Akers A, Barton J, Cossey R et al (2012) Visual Color Perception in Green Exercise: Positive Effects on Mood and Perceived Exertion. Environmental Science & Technology 46(16) 8661-66.
  • Li Q, Kobayashi M, Wakayama Y et al (2009) Effect of Phytoncide from Trees on Human Natural Killer Cell Function. International Journal of Immunopathology and Pharmacology 22(4) 951-9.
  • Fisher JC, Irvine KN, Bicknell JE et al (2021) Perceived Biodiversity, Sound, Naturalness and Safety Enhance the Restorative Quality and Wellbeing Benefits of Green and Blue Space in a Neotropical City. Science of the Total Environment 755 143095.
  • Gladwell VF, Brown DK, Wood C et al (2013) The Great Outdoors: How a Green Exercise Environment Can Benefit All. Extreme Physiology & Medicine 2(1) 3.
  • Chatterjee HJ, Camic PM, Lockyer B, Thomson LJM (2018) Non-Clinical Community Interventions: A Systematised Review Of Social Prescribing Schemes. Arts & Health 10(2) 97-123.
  • Evans SC, Barrett J, Mapes N et al (2019) Connections with Nature for People Living with Dementia. Working With Older People 23(3)142-51.
  • Consumers Health Forum. Social Prescribing November 2019 Roundtable Report. 2020.

Montessori-inspired care: changing lives for the better

  • Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2021) Dementia in Australia. Canberra: AIHW.
  • Steele L, Swaffer K, Carr R, Phillipson L, Fleming R (2020) Ending Confinement and Segregation: Barriers to Realising Human Rights in the Everyday Lives of People Living With Dementia in Residential Aged Care. Australian Journal of Human Rights 26(2) 308-328.
  • Cartwright J, Roberts K., Oliver E, Bennett M, Whitworth A (2022) Montessori Mealtimes For Dementia: A Pathway To Person-Centred Care. Dementia 21(4) 1098-1119.
  • Roberts G, Morley C, Walters W, Malta S, Doyle C (2015) Caring For People With Dementia in Residential Aged Care: Successes with a Composite Person-Centered Care Model Featuring Montessori-Based Activities. Geriatric Nursing 36(2) 106-110.
  • Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) (2017) Montessori for Ageing and Dementia. Amsterdam: AMI.
  • Eckermann S, Phillipson L, Fleming R (2019) Re-Design of Aged Care Environments is Key to Improved Care Quality and Cost Effective Reform of Aged and Health System Care. Applied Health Economics and Health Policy 17(2) 127-130.
  • Henderson J, Willis E, Xiao L, Blackman I (2017) Missed Care in Residential Aged Care in Australia: An Exploratory Study. Collegian 24(5) 411-416.
  • Savundranayagam MY (2014) Missed Opportunities for Person-Centered Communication: Implications for Staff-Resident Interactions in Long-Term Care. International Psychogeriatrics 26(4) 645-655.
  • Clifford C, Doody O (2018) Exploring Nursing Staff Views of Responsive Behaviours of People with Dementia in Long‐Stay Facilities. Journal of Psychiatric & Mental Health Nursing 25(1) 26-36.
  • Yury CA, Fisher JE (2007) Preventing Excess Disability in an Elderly Person with Alzheimer’s Disease. Clinical Case Studies 6(4) 295-306.
  • Camp CJ (2010) Origins of Montessori Programming for Dementia. Non-Pharmacological Therapies In Dementia 1(2) 163.
  • Douglas N, Brush J, Bourgeois M (2018) Person-Centered, Skilled Services Using a Montessori Approach for Persons with Dementia. Seminars In Speech & Language 39(3) 223-230.
  • Ducak K, Denton M, Elliot G (2018) Implementing Montessori Methods for Dementia™ in Ontario Long-Term Care Homes: Recreation Staff and Multidisciplinary Consultants’ Perceptions of Policy and Practice Issues. Dementia 17(1) 5-33.
  • Standing EM (1962) Maria Montessori: Her Life and Work. New York: New American Library.

Whither (or wither) public involvement in dementia research in Australia?

  • Thompson J (2016) Don’t lose sight of the consumers. Australian Journal of Dementia Care 5(5) 2.
  • NIHR (2019) UK Standards for Public Involvement. Available at:
  • 3 NIHR (2021) Briefing notes for researchers: public involvement in NHS, health and social care research. Online information available at
  • Greenhalgh T, Hinton L, Finlay T et al (2019) Frameworks for supporting patient and public involvement in research: Systematic review and co‐design pilot. Health Expectations 22(4) 785-801.
  • Alzheimer’s Society (undated) Our research network. Online information available at
  • Alzheimer’s Society (2018) “We can make our research meaningful”: The impact of the Alzheimer’s Society Research Network. London: Alzheimer’s Society.
  • Westera, A, Thompson C, Morris D, Blissett C, Navakatikyan M (2013) Evaluation of the Consumer Dementia Research Network – Final Report. Wollongong: Centre for Health Service Development, University of Wollongong.
  • NNIDR (2020) Becoming involved in research: a guide for people living with dementia, their care partners and family members. Canberra: NHMRC National Institute for Dementia Research (NNIDR). Available at:
  • Dementia Australia Research Foundation (2021) Increasing Advocate Involvement in Research. Advocate and Researcher Perspectives. Canberra: Dementia Australia Research Foundation.
  • Ayton D, Braaf S, Jones A et al (2021) Barriers and enablers to consumer and community involvement in research and healthcare improvement: Perspectives from consumer organisations, health services and researchers in Melbourne, Australia. Health & Social Care in the Community, 00, 1-14. hsc.13515
  • National Health and Medical Research Council (2016) Statement on Consumer and Community involvement in Health and Medical Research, Consumers Health Forum of Australia.
  • Staley K, Elliott J, Stewart D et al (2021) Who should I involve in my research and why? Patients, carers or the public? Research Involvement & Engagement 7, 41
  • Van Hemelrijck M, Peters V, Loong JF et al (2021) The importance of patient and public involvement in cancer research: time to create a new job profile. Future Oncology 17(28)
  • Richards D, Jordan I, Strain K, Press Z (2018) Patient partner compensation in research and health care: the patient perspective on why and how, Patient Experience Journal 5(3) 6-12.
  • Australian Clinical Trials Alliance (2021) Toolkit for Researchers and Research Organisations. Online resource available at
  • Staley K, Cockcroft E, Shelly A et al (2019) ‘What can I do that will most help researchers?’ A different approach to training the public at the start of their involvement in research. Research Involvement & Engagement 5, 10.
  • University of Edinburgh and Scottish Dementia Working Group (2019) Core principles for involving people with dementia in research. Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh and SDWG. Available at:
  • Denegri S, Starling B (2021) COVID-19 and patient engagement in health research: What have we learned? Canadian Medical Association Journal 193 (27) E1048-E1049.
  • Dementia Australia (2021) We can tackle Australia’s dementia epidemic. Available at:
  • Nunn J (2015) ‘Consumer’ should be a taboo word in public services. Health Issues 114, 38-40.

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