Funding for dementia research in Indigenous communities up for grabs

The NHMRC National Institute of Dementia Research (NNIDR) has announced a funding pool of up to $10 million is available for research on dementia in Indigenous Australians.

Dementia is one of the biggest health problems facing Australia, with Indigenous Australians 3-5 times more likely to develop dementia and at an earlier age of onset than non- Indigenous Australians.

NNIDR Director Janice Besch said in the past a lack of culturally appropriate diagnostic tools, which resulted in the poor recognition of dementia within Indigenous communities and among health care workers and service providers, has compounded the issue.

“Culturally appropriate research, directly targeting dementia in Indigenous Australians and their communities, is needed to begin to address this significant issue,” Ms Besch said.

The Targeted Call for Research into Dementia in Indigenous Australians provides up to $10 million to support culturally appropriate research, specifically addressing the health and care needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders living with dementia and the impact on their families, carers and communities. 

The initiative developed by the NNIDR, with input from expert advisers from around Australia and the NHMRC Principal Committee Indigenous Caucus, is open to small collaborative research teams looking to tackle the issue of dementia in Australia’s Indigenous population.

“Generating meaningful communication pathways between dementia researchers, health and health service providers and Indigenous communities will be critical to providing better prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care options for Indigenous Australians living with dementia,” Ms Besch said.

“Best practice models of care for Indigenous Australians living with dementia must be developed with a view to recognising the role of family and maintaining connection with the community.” 

Applications close for the Targeted Call for Research on 28 June 2017. For more information on this NHMRC targeted call or research, please visit the NNIDR website.