Introducing a new guide to respite care

Alzheimer’s Australia has just published two new resources on respite care for people with dementia: one is aimed at people with dementia and family carers, and the other is aimed at service providers.

The 20-page booklet for people with dementia and family carers looks at topics such as finding a respite service, making the most of respite care, communicating with respite staff, and a checklist for things to consider when choosing respite. It also has a number of stories of people who have tried respite and the sorts of things they have learned from this experience.

Click Flexible respite services for people with dementia and their carers to download a copy of the booklet.

 


Dementia Research Foundation

Alzheimer’s Australia has its own ‘Dementia Research Foundation’ which funds some major pieces of research into dementia in Australia.

The Foundation has recently updated its website information (see Get involved: the Dementia Research Foundation) setting out all the major studies where researchers are currently recruiting for participants (at the moment about 15 across Australia).

It might not be for everyone, but for the right person being involved in a dementia research project can be a stimulating experience, with the person with dementia and/or their carer feeling that their view is listened to and valued.

For each study, the website explains who is conducting the research and where, where participants can be recruited from, what would be expected of participants, and the closing date for involvement.

The list makes for interesting reading, and it’s clear that there’s a lot more going on now than there was even five years ago.


The economic cost of dementia in Australia

Alzheimer’s Australia is hoping that new figures on how many people are living with dementia in Australia – and the costs associated with their care – will be a “very big wake-up call” for the government to do more on this issue.

The new figures were released in February 2017 in a report titled The economic cost of dementia in Australia 2016-2056.

They are an increase on previous estimates – now just over 400,000 people are living with dementia in Australia (compared with 353,000 in earlier estimates), and the cost of this is $14 billion per year.

The report also estimates how many people will be living with dementia in Australia in 40 years’ time, and the costs to the Australian economy over the coming 40 years.

It includes calculations of the savings that could be made if there was just a 5 per cent reduction in incidence in dementia in the future, and to the savings that could be made through technological advances and reduced hospitalisation.

Alzheimer’s Australia National President Professor Graeme Samuel AC said, “The time for action is now. If we don’t do something now, the cost is going to continue to grow to unsustainable levels.”

Alzheimer’s Australia is pushing for a national dementia strategy with committed funding. It is calling on the government to take immediate action on funding:

  • for a more comprehensive risk reduction program
  • to develop a consumer-based Quality in Dementia Care program to improve aged care services, both in residential aged care and in the community
  • to improve access to quality respite care to better support people with dementia living in the community, their families and carers.

The Alzheimer’s Australia press release in relation to this report is here.


Travelling with Dementia

Planning on going on a cruise? Flying to somewhere far away? A new booklet from Alzheimer’s Australia on Travelling and holidays with dementia tackles some of the practical challenges that can arise when a person with dementia is going on holiday. The booklet includes lots of suggestions and tips, and is set out alongside some lovely holiday photographs and quotes from family carers about how they prepared for their travels.

The booklet looks at travelling by various different ways – sea, air, car and public transport – and sets out some of the challenges and some strategies to consider. It looks at planning holidays, tips about accommodation, and things to consider on return. You can access the booklet here: https://www.fightdementia.org.au/files/NATIONAL/documents/Travelling-with-dementia.pdf 


Rethink Respite

For some time, the ‘Rethink Respite’ project has been working hard at improving take-up of respite among carers of people with dementia in Illawarra, NSW. As part of this it has developed some really good resources on respite for people with dementia, which are available on its website here. The project is now launching a new national study which will involve offering a series of online education and support sessions for carers to encourage them to give respite a try. Carers who are interested in accessing this sort of support are encouraged to find out more here.

Launch of ReThink Respite Online


How do I choose?

The Alzheimer’s Australia (Victoria) library has been producing an interesting blog on all thing related to dementia resources for a few years now (it’s worth a look any time). In November they’ve put out a list of 20 of the most borrowed items from the Alzheimer’s Australia libraries during 2016. They say they’ve chosen the list based on four criteria: it’s well written, gets consistently good feedback from borrowers, positive reviews from professionals, and that the library staff love it – something like ‘We recommend…’ stickers in book shops. So, perhaps you might find a Christmas present ideas or two here?! The list includes a range of books: personal accounts of living with dementia (‘Green Vanilla Tea’ by Marie Williams), fiction (‘Still Alice’ by Lisa Genova), DVDs and guides. https://dementiaresources.org.au/2016/11/15/how-do-i-choose/ 


Adventure with Dementia! New Buderim Social Group

Get involved with a new social group in Buderim, Adventure with Dementia!, that involves doing activities that are fun, active and chosen by you!

This will also provide the opportunity to create new friendships and enjoyment and will be a great way to stay connected with the local community.

We understand from various feedback that the current social support or respite model is not to everyone’s preference so we are hoping to offer you something that is directed by you, a social group that you will enjoy.

Alzheimer’s Australia (Qld) in partnership with Bromilow Home Support Services and through funding from the Buderim foundation are offering this active social group to the residents of the Buderim and surrounding communities on the Sunshine Coast.

We are launching the group on Tuesday 24th January 2017, please follow this link for further information and to have your say!

 

Or click here to download the printable Launch Invitation!

 


Clinical Practice Guidelines on Dementia

This year saw an important breakthrough – the launch of Australia’s first Clinical Practice Guidelines on dementia, to give guidance on best practice in dementia care in Australia.

 

Now, an adapted version of these guidelines – aimed at people with dementia and carers – has been published. The 20-page guide is easy to read and sets out clearly what people with dementia and carers can expect: on diagnosis, assessment, care and support at home, advance care planning, and healthy living. The guide includes short lists of practical questions that people with dementia or carers can ask, for example, ‘Questions to ask about diagnosis’ or ‘Questions to ask about community services’.

 

The guidelines were developed with input from people living with dementia and carers working with the National Health and Medical Research Council’s Cognitive Decline Partnership Centre in Sydney, the same group that developed the Guidelines. The guide is available to download online and is called A consumer companion guide to the Clinical Practice Guidelines and principles of care for people with dementia.