Among the successful projects are a newly-launched training and education program (General Practice Training Tasmania’s Dementia Care Training and Education Program), the Kiama Dementia Friendly Alliance in New South Wales, and a series of dementia films and a mobile app for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) seniors and their families made available Australia wide.
Minister for Aged Care Ken Wyatt, who has launched and supported the programs, says he is committed to improving the lives of people living with dementia through partnerships, major investment in research, innovation and dementia training.
“Work like this is crucial because more than 425,000 Australians are currently living with dementia and this is expected to rise to 1.1 million by 2056,” he explains.
“At present, dementia has no cure and is already the second leading cause of death in Australia [and] research remains our best hope delaying the onset and improving the lives of people living with dementia and their families and carers.”
The Minister spoke highly of all of the successful funding recipients’ programs, saying the new training program being pioneered in Tasmania is promising earlier dementia diagnosis and better support for patients, their families and carers.
“Training our GPs and practice nurses is of vital importance to dementia care in Australia,” he explains.
“Local doctors will be better able to access carers’ knowledge and their roles in providing support for people living with dementia.
“Practice nurses will also be better equipped to recognise dementia symptoms and assist patients and families, particularly in rural and remote communities.
“These insights should help reduce stigma and empower families and carers.”
He adds that the Moving Pictures project, which involves the production of multiple films and mobile app for CALD families, received the $563,000 funding for its support of the growing CALD communities to “cut through communication and cultural challenges” to help vulnerable people.
“Experience shows that among CALD groups, dementia diagnosis can be delayed, increasing the difficulties faced by individuals and families,” he says.
“By lifting awareness in familiar languages, we hope people with the onset of dementia will be helped earlier, leading to better treatment plans and improved quality of life.”
Minister Wyatt also spoke highly of the Kiama project, which received $15,000 in funding from Dementia Australia's Dementia Friendly Communities grants, saying it is an “inspiring example” of what can be done when people understand dementia.
Local member for Parliament, Ann Sudmalis, announced the funding success alongside Minister Wyatt and welcomes the grant to support the local dementia project.
“We welcome this additional funding for a project which has already strengthened our community spirit,” she says.
“The Kiama Dementia Action Plan includes support for people with dementia to remain actively involved in the community and increased awareness to reduce any stigma around the condition.”