Webchat feature on the National Dementia Helpline

Alzheimer’s Australia’s National Dementia Helpline has recently expanded to offer a webchat function – which means people can now get in touch with a Helpline ‘Dementia Advisor’ and have a typed online conversation. For some people this may be just what they are after. The webchat service operates Monday to Friday from 9 am to 5 pm EST. You can access the Webchat here .

Relationships and dementia

This Alzheimer’s Australia NSW discussion paper explores how dementia affects relationships, in particular looking at role and identity, emotional and physical intimacy, grief and loss and positive impacts. The paper’s findings are based on a survey which drew responses from nearly 200 people (mainly family carers), and the report includes lots of quotes from people with dementia and family carers. The report’s authors say there is a need to improve access to range of key supports, including respite, counselling and support groups. To download the report, click here.

Ensuring a smooth journey

A new guide to Brisbane Airport’s International Terminal for people living with dementia and their travel companions is just out. The 35-page guide covers topics such as preparing for your journey, getting to the airport, checking in and flying out, and flying in to Brisbane. The guide comes at the end of a 2-year project with QUT’s Dementia Centre for Research Collaboration to improve facilities for people with dementia at the airport. As a result of this work, Alzheimer’s Australia now says this is Australia’s most dementia-friendly airport. To access the guide, click here.

Dementia-friendly communities

Alzheimer’s Australia has revamped its website dedicated to dementia-friendly communities (go to www.dementiafriendly.org.au), and within it now has a new resource hub also related to dementia-friendly communities. This is a good place to check in to find out what’s happening with any and all dementia-friendly communities projects throughout Australia. It is also the place where you will be able to sign up to become a ‘dementia friend’: first, just complete a simple module online.

‘What not to say to someone with dementia’

‘What not to say to someone with dementia’ This easy-to-read short article tackles head-on some of the more painful questions that are put to people with dementia. It covers statements such as these: ‘I’ve just told you that’ or ‘Your brother died ten years ago’ or ‘What did you do this morning?’. For each, it explains why this might pose difficulties for the person with dementia, and what to try instead.  It comes from the Alzheimer’s Society UK.

Love to Move

Love to Move is a new guidebook which shows how to tackle 5 chair-based exercises aimed at people with dementia to do at home. The explanations are clear, and accompanied by good-sized photos – so is easy to follow. It comes from the British Gymnastics Foundation, which has been leading a successful exercise program in care homes and community settings for people with dementia for some time now.

Dementia and sensory challenges

Dementia involves more than memory challenges. This resource looks at sensory challenges arising for people with dementia – such as seeing, hearing, smell, touch – and how these senses might be experienced differently when living with dementia. The booklet is the work of Agnes Houston, long-time dementia campaigner and advocate, who spoke with a range of people with dementia about their experiences of sensory challenges, and then included their contributions in this booklet. It includes a ‘Stuff that helps’ for each area. HammondCare is now promoting the resource within Australia, including a new short film with Agnes linked to the booklet. Dementia and sensory challenges

Dementia-friendly bathrooms

Did you know that Alzheimer’s Australia (Qld) is offering a limited number of $75 vouchers to be used at Bunnings, to help people with dementia make their bathrooms more dementia friendly?

To find out more, go to Alzheimer’s Australia’s website here or contact Alzheimer’s Australia Qld on 1800 588 699.


10 tips for supporting someone with dementia

Sometimes relatives and friends can find it hard to know what to say if they are visiting a person with dementia – either in their own home or in a care home.

This handy booklet from HammondCare is free to access and easy to read: it sets out  10 tips for supporting someone with dementia, and is aimed at family and friends who want to continue to support and visit a person with dementia.

It includes suggestions such as ‘Start by listening’, ‘Don’t rush to give advice’, and suggestions for activities to do together.