OUR SAY: Finding better ways to treat dementia a worthwhile endeavour

ANY new initiative that helps families navigate the stressful and sad task of caring for someone with dementia must be applauded.

The Western NSW Local Health District (WLHD) is testing a new pilot program designed to assist both patients and carers of people with dementia by tailoring the care that’s provided to suit each patient’s needs.

According to WLHD manager of aged care services Debra Tooley, patients, families and carers are increasingly being recognised as important members of the healthcare team.

As Ms Tooley rightly points out, the primary carers’ knowledge of the patient, especially in relation to communication and behaviour, can prove the key to assisting dementia care staff with patient care.

In Australia someone is diagnosed with dementia every six minutes. 

This is an ongoing healthcare challenge that’s only going to increase, so it’s important that large amounts of money and research be directed at finding better ways to treat and care for people with this debilitating condition.

It’s also important that we focus on community education about dementia and the devastating impact it has on a person’s body and mind while debunking the myth that it’s a normal part of ageing.

The University Of Tasmania has recently introduced Australia’s first bachelor of dementia care, offering a new level of expertise to those wishing to specialise in the area.

According to a university spokesperson the need for higher levels of dementia-specific expertise is pivotal to addressing the big demands of dementia into the future.

The bottom line is the more we know about caring for people with dementia, the more fulfilling and joyous their lives will be.

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