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Fleming, Richard Professor

Executive Director, Dementia Training Australia

  • Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health

Research Overview


  • Richard Fleming is a psychologist who has worked with the elderly for more than thirty years. While occupying the position of Regional Coordinator of Mental Health Services in the S.E. Region of N.S.W. he played a major role in the deinstitutionalisation of psychiatric services by leading the design and development of the CADE units for the NSW Department of Health. Nine of these units for the Confused and Disturbed Elderly were built to replace services provided by psychiatric hospitals.

    Between 1995 and 2010 he was the Director of the HammondCare Dementia Services Development Centre. While there he led a team that, amongst many other things, delivered training to 14,000 aged and health care staff under the Australian Governments Dementia Care Essentials programme and completed an Encouraging Best Practice in Residential Aged Care project focussed on people whose behaviours cause concern.

    In late 2010 he was appointed as a Professorial Fellow in the Faculty of Science Medicine and Health in the University of Wollongong and as Director of the NSW/ACT Dementia Training Study Centre. He has published papers on environmental design, reminiscing therapy, reality orientation, assessment of the elderly and service evaluation and is the principal author of books on care planning for people with dementia, environmental design and a comparison between Australian and Japanese dementia care.

    He is the Environmental and Assistive Technology node leader in the UNSW based Dementia Collaborative Research Centre and Chief Investigator in 2 National Health and Medical Research Council funded projects.

    Current Research Projects include:
     - Safe and Just Futures for people with dementia (Dementia Australian Research Foundation)
     - Connecting the PIECES for people with dementia (UOW Global Challenges Keystone Program)

Available for Collaborative Projects

Selected Publications


Editor Of


Impact Story


  • <p>Alongside the demographic aging of the population, there is a corresponding increase in the number of people living with dementia. International estimates are 46 million, with this number expected to rise to 138 million by 2050 (ADI, 2016). The increasing prevalence of dementia will demand a shift in both the social and the physical environments within which we live. Low levels of public understanding can contribute to the fear, stigma and social exclusion associated with living with dementia. Public spaces and civic buildings are not often designed in ways which are supportive of people with dementia participating in civic life. ‘Dementia friendly’ communities aim to address this by empowering people with dementia and increasing their social inclusion. They also aim to create more supportive physical environment to enable participation.</p><p>The ‘Dementia Friendly Kiama’ project (led by Dr Lyn Phillipson) and colleagues from UOW (Brennan-Horley, Fleming, Cridland, Hall and Hasan) is a partnership between the University of Wollongong (UOW) Global Challenges Program, the Kiama Municipal Council, the Kiama community and Dementia Australia. The project utilises a Community-based Participatory Action Research framework to inform the development, implementation and evaluation of a multicomponent dementia-friendly community intervention.  Research in Kiama has included interviews and mapping exercises with people with dementia and their carers, community and business surveys, piloting a Dementia-friendly business toolkit and the development of an environmental assessment tool for use in the auditing of public buildings. Formative research activities guided the Action Plan of a local Dementia Alliance and Dementia Advisory Group. Evaluative research activities monitor inputs, outputs, impacts and outcomes of the project. Key achievements include:</p><p>1.)           The empowerment of people living with dementia – including opportunities for civic participation, social inclusion and peer support through the Southern Dementia Advisory Group and other project activities</p><p>2.)           Improved community understanding and increased positive attitudes with regard to the capabilities of people living with dementia. This has been achieved via education sessions (with over 1000 attendances) and the development of new information resources e.g. the ‘Dementia Illawarra’ website (<a href="www.dementiaIS.com" target="_blank" rel="noopener">www.dementiaIS.com</a>).</p><p>3.)           Tools to improve the physical environment –including the Dementia Friendly Communities Environmental Assessment Tool (DFC-EAT) and the establishment of the ‘OurPlace’ Kiama mapping tool (http://ourplacemap.com/)</p><p>4.)           Public recognition and acclaim - the project received an Excellence in Community Partnerships Award at the National Disability Awards (2016) and was recognised at the 7th Global Conference for the Alliance of Healthy Cities (2016) by the World Health Organisation.</p><p>5.) The model and tools have informed Dementia Australia’s $3.9 million ‘National Dementia Friendly Communities Strategy’ (funded by the Department of Health, 2017-2021.</p><p>6.) The project has also had an impact at UOW. Programs such as the ‘Dementia Enabling University Strategy’ has increased opportunities for students from all five faculties to study the impact of dementia and consider their role in the creation of a dementia friendly society. The Global Challenges project has also continued to support new interdisciplinary projects that address the societal challenges of dementia.</p><p> </p>
  • <p>According to the Deloitte Access Economics report, there were 4.8 million Australians aged over 15 years living with incontinence in 2010. The total financial cost of incontinence (excluding the burden of disease) was estimated to be $42.9 billion. Since 1996, Simavita, a start-up company headquartered in North Sydney, has been developing a revolutionary new product SIM® to help manage incontinence in aged care homes.  SIM® remotely monitors continence events to make assessment easier, simpler and more accurate than existing manual methods.  While the company had confidence in their new product, Simavita needed independent research and evidence to validate SIM® before taking it to market.  “As a small and rapidly growing global business, Simavita does not have the significant research resources at its disposal as a larger company might,” said Simavita’s Chief Executive Officer Philippa Lewis.</p><p>Dr Ping Yu from University of Wollongong’s School of Information Systems and Technology is an expert in the use of information technology to improve the effectiveness of healthcare and evaluation of health information systems.</p><p>The company became aware of Enterprise Connect’s Researchers in Business program that provides funding to help place experts from universities or public research agencies with businesses to develop and implement new commercial ideas.  <a href="https://www.dropbox.com/s/d597ix8ydn7nrmt/Enterprise-Connect-Success-Story-20110326.pdf?dl=0" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Enterprise Connect provided $50 000, matched by Simavita to engage University of Wollongong researchers, led by </a>Dr<a href="https://www.dropbox.com/s/d597ix8ydn7nrmt/Enterprise-Connect-Success-Story-20110326.pdf?dl=0" target="_blank" rel="noopener"> Yu to evaluate the product</a>.   Researchers conducted two field trials in two aged care facilities and then evaluated the data to validate the efficacy of SIM®.</p><p><strong>Outcome</strong></p><p>Following the validation of its product, Simavita moved quickly to take SIM® to market. The company is now listed on the Australian Securities Exchange with the symbol SVA. It is operating in Australia, Europe and North America.</p><p>UOW and Simavita have continued their successful collaboration through commercial research. A multi-disciplinary team of researchers in Faculty of Informatics and Health & Behavioural Sciences, Dr Ping Yu, Prof. David Hailey, Prof. Richard Fleming and A/Prof. Victoria Traynor have published an original research paper to <em>Journal of Advanced Nursing</em> reporting the impact of SIM® on continence care in residential aged care homes in May 2012. They also disseminated the urinary continence care practices in Australian nursing homes to the international community through Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing in 2014.</p><p>The story of our successful research collaboration was show-cased by NSW Enterprise Connect program, reported in Simavita’s web site and UOW in 2012. It was showcased as <a href="https://www.dropbox.com/s/2fhydhnt50k8gtz/ContinenceMonitor2014.pdf?dl=0" target="_blank" rel="noopener">a successful university and industry collaborative research case at UOW</a>.</p>

Advisees


  • Graduate Advising Relationship

    Degree Research Title Advisee
    Master of Philosophy Lost in translation? exploring the usefulness of three methods to identify best sources of evidence for care staff on the non-pharmacological alleviation of responsive behaviours in dementia Kubel, Catherine
    Doctor of Philosophy Defining and assessing the characteristics of the built environment that contribute to the well-being of people with dementia living in Chinese, Malay and Indian aged care facilities in Singapore Sun, Joanna

Keywords


  • Environmental design
    Dementia
    Service development
    Training

Research Overview


  • Richard Fleming is a psychologist who has worked with the elderly for more than thirty years. While occupying the position of Regional Coordinator of Mental Health Services in the S.E. Region of N.S.W. he played a major role in the deinstitutionalisation of psychiatric services by leading the design and development of the CADE units for the NSW Department of Health. Nine of these units for the Confused and Disturbed Elderly were built to replace services provided by psychiatric hospitals.

    Between 1995 and 2010 he was the Director of the HammondCare Dementia Services Development Centre. While there he led a team that, amongst many other things, delivered training to 14,000 aged and health care staff under the Australian Governments Dementia Care Essentials programme and completed an Encouraging Best Practice in Residential Aged Care project focussed on people whose behaviours cause concern.

    In late 2010 he was appointed as a Professorial Fellow in the Faculty of Science Medicine and Health in the University of Wollongong and as Director of the NSW/ACT Dementia Training Study Centre. He has published papers on environmental design, reminiscing therapy, reality orientation, assessment of the elderly and service evaluation and is the principal author of books on care planning for people with dementia, environmental design and a comparison between Australian and Japanese dementia care.

    He is the Environmental and Assistive Technology node leader in the UNSW based Dementia Collaborative Research Centre and Chief Investigator in 2 National Health and Medical Research Council funded projects.

    Current Research Projects include:
     - Safe and Just Futures for people with dementia (Dementia Australian Research Foundation)
     - Connecting the PIECES for people with dementia (UOW Global Challenges Keystone Program)

Selected Publications


Editor Of


Impact Story


  • <p>Alongside the demographic aging of the population, there is a corresponding increase in the number of people living with dementia. International estimates are 46 million, with this number expected to rise to 138 million by 2050 (ADI, 2016). The increasing prevalence of dementia will demand a shift in both the social and the physical environments within which we live. Low levels of public understanding can contribute to the fear, stigma and social exclusion associated with living with dementia. Public spaces and civic buildings are not often designed in ways which are supportive of people with dementia participating in civic life. ‘Dementia friendly’ communities aim to address this by empowering people with dementia and increasing their social inclusion. They also aim to create more supportive physical environment to enable participation.</p><p>The ‘Dementia Friendly Kiama’ project (led by Dr Lyn Phillipson) and colleagues from UOW (Brennan-Horley, Fleming, Cridland, Hall and Hasan) is a partnership between the University of Wollongong (UOW) Global Challenges Program, the Kiama Municipal Council, the Kiama community and Dementia Australia. The project utilises a Community-based Participatory Action Research framework to inform the development, implementation and evaluation of a multicomponent dementia-friendly community intervention.  Research in Kiama has included interviews and mapping exercises with people with dementia and their carers, community and business surveys, piloting a Dementia-friendly business toolkit and the development of an environmental assessment tool for use in the auditing of public buildings. Formative research activities guided the Action Plan of a local Dementia Alliance and Dementia Advisory Group. Evaluative research activities monitor inputs, outputs, impacts and outcomes of the project. Key achievements include:</p><p>1.)           The empowerment of people living with dementia – including opportunities for civic participation, social inclusion and peer support through the Southern Dementia Advisory Group and other project activities</p><p>2.)           Improved community understanding and increased positive attitudes with regard to the capabilities of people living with dementia. This has been achieved via education sessions (with over 1000 attendances) and the development of new information resources e.g. the ‘Dementia Illawarra’ website (<a href="www.dementiaIS.com" target="_blank" rel="noopener">www.dementiaIS.com</a>).</p><p>3.)           Tools to improve the physical environment –including the Dementia Friendly Communities Environmental Assessment Tool (DFC-EAT) and the establishment of the ‘OurPlace’ Kiama mapping tool (http://ourplacemap.com/)</p><p>4.)           Public recognition and acclaim - the project received an Excellence in Community Partnerships Award at the National Disability Awards (2016) and was recognised at the 7th Global Conference for the Alliance of Healthy Cities (2016) by the World Health Organisation.</p><p>5.) The model and tools have informed Dementia Australia’s $3.9 million ‘National Dementia Friendly Communities Strategy’ (funded by the Department of Health, 2017-2021.</p><p>6.) The project has also had an impact at UOW. Programs such as the ‘Dementia Enabling University Strategy’ has increased opportunities for students from all five faculties to study the impact of dementia and consider their role in the creation of a dementia friendly society. The Global Challenges project has also continued to support new interdisciplinary projects that address the societal challenges of dementia.</p><p> </p>
  • <p>According to the Deloitte Access Economics report, there were 4.8 million Australians aged over 15 years living with incontinence in 2010. The total financial cost of incontinence (excluding the burden of disease) was estimated to be $42.9 billion. Since 1996, Simavita, a start-up company headquartered in North Sydney, has been developing a revolutionary new product SIM® to help manage incontinence in aged care homes.  SIM® remotely monitors continence events to make assessment easier, simpler and more accurate than existing manual methods.  While the company had confidence in their new product, Simavita needed independent research and evidence to validate SIM® before taking it to market.  “As a small and rapidly growing global business, Simavita does not have the significant research resources at its disposal as a larger company might,” said Simavita’s Chief Executive Officer Philippa Lewis.</p><p>Dr Ping Yu from University of Wollongong’s School of Information Systems and Technology is an expert in the use of information technology to improve the effectiveness of healthcare and evaluation of health information systems.</p><p>The company became aware of Enterprise Connect’s Researchers in Business program that provides funding to help place experts from universities or public research agencies with businesses to develop and implement new commercial ideas.  <a href="https://www.dropbox.com/s/d597ix8ydn7nrmt/Enterprise-Connect-Success-Story-20110326.pdf?dl=0" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Enterprise Connect provided $50 000, matched by Simavita to engage University of Wollongong researchers, led by </a>Dr<a href="https://www.dropbox.com/s/d597ix8ydn7nrmt/Enterprise-Connect-Success-Story-20110326.pdf?dl=0" target="_blank" rel="noopener"> Yu to evaluate the product</a>.   Researchers conducted two field trials in two aged care facilities and then evaluated the data to validate the efficacy of SIM®.</p><p><strong>Outcome</strong></p><p>Following the validation of its product, Simavita moved quickly to take SIM® to market. The company is now listed on the Australian Securities Exchange with the symbol SVA. It is operating in Australia, Europe and North America.</p><p>UOW and Simavita have continued their successful collaboration through commercial research. A multi-disciplinary team of researchers in Faculty of Informatics and Health & Behavioural Sciences, Dr Ping Yu, Prof. David Hailey, Prof. Richard Fleming and A/Prof. Victoria Traynor have published an original research paper to <em>Journal of Advanced Nursing</em> reporting the impact of SIM® on continence care in residential aged care homes in May 2012. They also disseminated the urinary continence care practices in Australian nursing homes to the international community through Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing in 2014.</p><p>The story of our successful research collaboration was show-cased by NSW Enterprise Connect program, reported in Simavita’s web site and UOW in 2012. It was showcased as <a href="https://www.dropbox.com/s/2fhydhnt50k8gtz/ContinenceMonitor2014.pdf?dl=0" target="_blank" rel="noopener">a successful university and industry collaborative research case at UOW</a>.</p>

Advisees


  • Graduate Advising Relationship

    Degree Research Title Advisee
    Master of Philosophy Lost in translation? exploring the usefulness of three methods to identify best sources of evidence for care staff on the non-pharmacological alleviation of responsive behaviours in dementia Kubel, Catherine
    Doctor of Philosophy Defining and assessing the characteristics of the built environment that contribute to the well-being of people with dementia living in Chinese, Malay and Indian aged care facilities in Singapore Sun, Joanna

Keywords


  • Environmental design
    Dementia
    Service development
    Training
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