A simple whiteboard proved to be a breakthrough for Karen Dubois, in her role as her mother's carer.
Bess Dubois, aged 87 years, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease - a common form of dementia - around two years ago.
Having moved from the South Coast to daughter Karen's Huntingdon home (near Wauchope), Bess struggled routinely to remember if she had taken her daily medication.
"She'd ask me every day: 'What day is it? Have I taken my tablet?'," Karen says.
"But when I put up a whiteboard with the day and date she was able to write what time she'd taken the tablet.
"Before that she was continually asking me, and felt bad about it. Within two days, it was sorted.
"We set up something similar for her shower."
Karen hit on the whiteboard solution after attending training for carers, hosted by aged, disability and dementia support provider Omnicare Alliance.
The not-for-profit organisation has adapted Montessori principles for its unique initiative The WISER Approach.
These principles build on the interests, abilities, background and requirements of the individual. Through meaningful, purposeful activities in a supportive environment, they enable people living with dementia or other cognitive impairments to retain skills and maintain independence.
Omnicare's initiative goes further still by supporting carers and staff in their roles.
"One of the things that has stuck with me about the WISER carer training is the idea that 'The more you do for me, the more you take away from me'," Karen explains.
"We were doing everything at home for Mum, and she'd just end up taking herself to bed and sleeping a lot.
"Now, she takes on tasks like peeling the vegetables for dinner, folding all our clothes and watering pot plants.
"It takes patience and good time management skills to be a carer.
"You have to put yourself in their shoes and work with their abilities, rather than seeing them in terms of what they can't do."
Omnicare will run a two-day training session on consecutive Thursdays - 19 and 26 September - at its Morton Day Centre, Port Macquarie.
Participation is sponsored by Commonwealth Respite and Care Centres, without cost to carers.
For further information call Omnicare's Kaye Lilley, on 02 6584 1115; or CRCC's Tina Gilson, on 1800 052 222.
There are limited places available on this course, but there is another pencilled in for November 21 and 28.