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Living well with dementia

With dementia affecting close to half a million Australians – a number that is expected to double in the next 25 years – it’s important to support those living with the condition to help enhance quality of life.

To help make a positive difference in the lives of people living with dementia, Dementia Australia has released seven simple yet effective ways to support those living with dementia live well as long as possible.

Seven tips to support dementia sufferers:

  • Make home life easier for me with a few smart changes.
  • Give me a little space to do things for myself.
  • Listen to me, don’t always try to solve my problems.
  • Give me a minute to find the right words.
  • Remind me with clever technology.
  • Help me plan my own social life.
  • Encourage me to stay active and healthy.

Dementia Australia has developed a range of resources for each tip, including an online home improvement tool to create a dementia-friendly home.

They have also created a digital memory book to help those with dementia access positive memories.

Dementia Australia CEO, Maree McCabe says the seven tips were developed in response to results from a Dementia Australia survey [1] that found 63% of people living with dementia who responded to the survey believe discrimination against those living with dementia is common.

“What these findings say is that discrimination stems from a lack of understanding and knowledge of dementia – what it is and how it impacts people,” Ms McCabe says.

“People living with dementia can continue to live well for many years after their diagnosis.”

Dementia Advocates share lived experiences  

“I use technology in one form or another, even the most basic technology of a phone call, to be able to support me in terms of how I choose to live my life,” says Sarah Ashton who lives with dementia and credits the technology set-up within her home as an important factor in enabling her to live by herself.

Juanita Hughes, who lives with dementia, says her advocacy work, church group and volunteering were extremely important in keeping her connected.

“When you are asked to be involved you feel valued – you feel like you’re still a member of the family, community or group,” she says.

“You can’t explain what that feels like – it really makes you feel valued.”

All seven tips on how to support someone living with dementia, as well as the associated resources, are available on the Dementia Australia website: https://discrimination.dementia.org.au/action-week/

Reference:

[1] Dementia Australia. Dementia Action Week Discrimination Survey 2019, 5,767 valid responses collected from people living with dementia, families, carers, volunteers, health and aged care professionals, and people not directly impacted by dementia.

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