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Toolkit to help those caring for younger onset dementia

A free online resource to help care workers for people with younger onset dementia (YOD) has been launched by the Lovell Foundation, together with Edith Cowan University (ECU) and not-for-profit aged care and retirement living providers Bethanie and Mercy Health.

A new toolkit aims to improve education and awareness around younger onset dementia (Source: Shutterstock)
A new toolkit aims to improve education and awareness around younger onset dementia (Source: Shutterstock)

The Prescription for Life, supporting those LIVING with younger onset dementia is a 70-page electronic-talking book aimed at giving staff a deeper understanding of how to support someone who has been diagnosed with dementia under the age of 65. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, there are approximately up to 25,100 Australians living with YOD.

The goal of the resource is for staff to enhance the wellbeing of those living with YOD and their families, and support the philosophy of living well with dementia.

ECU School of Nursing and Midwifery Senior Lecturer Dr Caroline Vafeas, who helped develop the YOD toolkit says it is a valuable resource to help health care workers tailor the care they provide to young people living with dementia. “By providing links to resources and practical tips for caring, we hope this resource can help employed carers develop strategies to assist with meaningful care,” she says.

The e-flipbook also incorporates pre- and post-knowledge tests, which enables staff working in residential care facilities, respite centres and the community to be credited with a professional development certificate.

Bethanie Dementia Consultant Michelle Harris, who has experienced first-hand how YOD impacts the person with the disease, their family, friends and service providers says the toolkit aims to improve education and awareness around the disease which will ultimately benefit everyone involved in the care of someone living with YOD.

Mercy Health Group Chief Executive Officer Stephen Cornelissen says his organisation was proud to be involved in this project, and he hopes it can make a real difference to the lives of young people living with dementia and their carers. “This is just a small step towards improving the care of people living with YOD, but it is a valuable one and we look forward to future advances in this area,” he says.

The YOD toolkit is now available for aged care service providers to download for free by visiting www.lovellfoundation.com.au

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