Caroline Egan – HelloCare Editor
Caroline Egan has been a writer and editor for a surprisingly large number of years. She has managed to work across several sectors, including banking, finance, economics, real estate, and aged care. She was Managing Editor at Macquarie Bank for several years, and also spent a number of years presenting financial market news on television and radio for CommSec. Caroline openly admits to being a grammar pedant, and loves playing Scrabble, going to the movies with her funny children, and walking in nature.
Leah Bisiani – MHlthSc/DipBus/RN1/Dementia Consultant/Learning & Advisory
Leah Bisiani is a highly skilled registered nurse/dementia consultant, having completed her Masters in Health Science/dementia stream, and Diploma in Business/Frontline Management, with more than 30 years’ experience in aged /dementia specific care.
After completing her Registered Nurse training at the Alfred Hospital in 1985, Leah undertook further studies and management/corporate employment within the aged care industry, establishing a knowledge and experience base placing her at the forefront of the industry, with her primary area of expertise being dementia specific care.
Leah has a passionate dedication towards Best Practice and is constantly researching and utilizing progressive and innovative approaches to obtain the highest possible quality of life for older people living with dementia. She distributes and publishes her evidence based research within the medical field, aged care sector and community, enabling others to accomplish maximized care for people living with dementia.
Self-development has been a priority, and has not only benefited Leah in her chosen pathway, but allowed her to expand on her proficiency, working in consulting, research, education/learning and development. Her goals continue to be focused on creating the ultimate benchmark for dementia specific care. Her vision has changed cultures and philosophies of care, providing a powerful voice that confront current practice, thus advocates and upholds the rights of all people living with dementia.
Leah has successfully demonstrated how creating environments in which persons with dementia continue to thrive, enables continuation of life based on recognition of self, and valuing individual preference and choices.
As a result of her ground-breaking and highly effective work, Leah’s increased profile has inevitably resulted in numerous, ongoing invitations over the years to lecture at leading national and global conferences on topics directly associated with her research, specifically behavioural expression and lifestyle.
Leah won both the 2010/11 Lend Lease ‘Australian’, and ‘Global’, Award for “Excellence in Innovation” for her personcentred models of care, designed for people living with dementia.
This award recognised Leah’s contribution to the aged care sector and specifically to the lives of those living with dementia.
Her pioneering revelations have enabled people living with dementia to attain maximised and enriched lifestyles, and furthermore, successfully empowered and motivated care partners to embrace her dreams of change.
In 2012 Leah was published by Sage Publications in regard to her research, and continues to write key articles for the “International Dementia Journal”, “Australian Dementia Journal” and various key dementia journals globally.
Leah was privileged to be invited to become an “International Care Team Member” of the ICA, (International Caregivers Association), a revered panel of dementia experts, based in Mapleton, USA, in 2014.
Having developed herself as a leader in the field, Leah has further added to her repertoire and become an advisory board member with the “Alive Inside Foundation”, USA. The Alive Inside Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to inspiring an Empathy Revolution—using education, intergenerational practices, music, and film. They empower youth and local communities to create meaningful, shared experiences that link generations, transform dementia care and expand aliveness globally.
Leah contributes her assistance to “Dementia Alliance International”, an Australian based registered non-profit organisation whose membership is exclusively for people with a medically confirmed diagnosis of any type of a dementia from all around the world. They seek to represent, support, and educate others living with dementia, and the wider dementia
community. They strive to provide a unified voice of strength, advocacy and support in the fight for individual autonomy and improved quality of life.
This provides Leah another niche area in which she can continue to make a difference to, and enrich the lives of people living with dementia.
In 2015 Leah published a submission to the Victorian Law Reform regarding her support of medicinal cannabis as a healing medicine.
Leah is interested in advancing the development of medicinal cannabis clinical promotion and has presented at the, “Cann10 International Medicinal Cannabis Conference”, in Tel Aviv, Israel in September 2016, and “CannaTech Conference” in March 2017, where she was also Master of Ceremonies.
She has since become a popular and prominent speaker at foremost Australian and Global medicinal cannabis conferences, symposiums and summits, discussing the promising therapeutic benefits of medicinal cannabis for the treatment of chronic intractable pain in the older population.
Leah co-authored – “Understanding pain in aged care: the UNPAC study – exploring the nature and treatment of chronic pain in the Australian aged care setting” Published Feb.2018 in the Journal of Pharmacy Practice and Research.to examine and demonstrate supportive evidence within this arena.
As per the words of Ghandi, Leah believes:
“Be the Change You Want to See in the World”.
31 May 2018 Article reprinted with permission of Caroline Egan, Editor of HelloCare Magazine and Leah Bisiani, MHlthSc/DipBus/RN1/Dementia Consultant/Learning & Advisory