A CDPC project examining the implementation of an occupational therapy and nurse assisted program for people with dementia and their families launched their website at the Occupational Therapies 28th National Conference and Exhibition.

The COPE Program (Care of People with dementia in their Environments) is a proven intervention, which promotes independence through identified personal strategies so the individual with dementia can remain in their home longer.

The new website (https://copeprogram.com.au/cope-program/) provides information on all aspects of the COPE Program, from explaining what dementia is and what an Occupational Therapist (OT) does to providing information for OTs and nurses to become involved in the program or for individuals in the community to access a certified COPE therapist.

To increase ease of understanding of the COPE Program there is a series of five videos from Australian Families about their experiences with COPE. There are also videos about the COPE program itself and what training as a COPE Therapist involves.

With the implementation project now complete members of the COPE team presented the first outcomes, lessons learnt and the process for sustainability. Key outcomes were that for the person with dementia and their carer this program provided significant improvements.

Lorraine Ng, an occupational therapist from the Central Adelaide Local Health Network, who participated in the implementation of the COPE program, told the conference that COPE led to service improvements beyond the original aims of the project.

Lorraine explained how one person with dementia who took part in the program said, “I don’t cry anymore when I go to visit the GP”, while a carer said, “It only took me 20 minutes to shower him today.”.

For more information on the research project, training of the COPE program, or getting access to the program visit (https://copeprogram.com.au/cope-program/).


Some of the COPE project team (from left) Jennifer Culph, Dr Kate Laver, Miia Rahja, Professor Lindy Clemson (Lead Investigator), Sally Day (Project Manager), and Claire Spargo.

CDPC website