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Free apps provide accessible information on changed behaviours for family carers, aged care workers and clinicians.
Dementia affects people in different ways and changes in the behaviour or emotional state of a person living with dementia are common.
These changes are stressful for the person living with dementia and can also be challenging for family, professional carers and clinicians.
The first step to dealing with these changes is often having a better understanding of them.
So where can you find easy and accessible information to start the process of understanding and supporting the person you are caring for through changed behaviours?
Accessible support at your fingertips
While there are a range of supports available, the Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing (CHeBA) have two apps providing easy and accessible support at your fingertips.
Care4Dementia is aimed at supporting family carers and aged care workers to better understand and help people experiencing changed behaviours and psychological symptoms associated with dementia.
A Clinician’s BPSD Guide takes a more clinical and in-depth look at changes in behaviour and is focused on helping clinicians to understand and better support their patients who are experiencing changed behaviours and psychological symptoms associated with dementia.
Dementia Australia Honorary Medical Advisor and Co-Director of CHeBA Scientia Professor Henry Brodaty AO said the apps were backed by quality evidence and were useful in helping families, aged care workers and clinicians understand how best to support people living with dementia experiencing changes in behaviour.
“Changed behaviours can be distressing to the person with dementia and their family supporters and can increase the likelihood of admission to residential care and to hospital and often lead to treatment with psychiatric medications even though these may have side effects,” Professor Brodaty said.
“Helping alleviate these behaviours can be challenging and first one needs to understand the person, what the behaviour is communicating and what may underpin them occurring. These apps are designed to do this.
“They represent years of work, reviewing and summarising all quality evidence between 2012-2021 of what has been shown to work and what does not.
“By understanding what might be causing the behaviour and what strategies are most likely to be successful, clinicians and carers can work out how best to help the person affected.”
How to access the free apps
Both apps are available for free download for tablets or smart phones.
Additional reading and resources
If you are caring for someone living with dementia who is showing changed behaviours and need further information and support, we have additional readings and resources to support you.
Call the National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500 to learn about support services and education programs, including carer support groups, counselling, and services and programs to assist you to understand and respond to changes and maintain your health and wellbeing.
Call the Dementia Behaviour Management Advisory Service on 1800 699 799. They support people living with dementia who experience changes in behaviour that impact their care or the carer.
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