Welcome to the latest edition of Dementia News.
This edition, I would like to discuss the very important topic of raising awareness and reducing stigma around dementia. But, what does this really mean and why is it so important?
Raising awareness and reducing stigma is about supporting members of the general community to become dementia aware by being able to identify the signs of dementia, knowing how to communicate effectively and developing compassion and empathy for the challenges many people impacted by dementia experience.
People living with dementia must be supported to live the life they choose and to be treated with respect. A nationwide survey conducted by Dementia Australia last year showed that despite growing awareness about the condition, people living with dementia still report sometimes feeling incompetent, lonely and isolated. And while members of the community may be empathetic towards people living with dementia, there is a growing demand for education from the community.
Helping to lead this charge with Dementia Australia is one of the founding members of the Dementia Australia Advisory Committee, John Hiller. John is one of our extraordinary Dementia Advocates who generously contribute to our work to increase understanding of how to better support people impacted by dementia.
I’d also like to draw your attention to two campaigns Dementia Australia was pleased to launch in March: our Dementia Friends campaign to promote community awareness and understanding; and, our Turn to Us campaign to remind everyone affected by dementia that Dementia Australia provides many fantastic services to assist people live well with dementia, support is available and you do not have to face this alone.
Before I sign-off, I would like to acknowledge the Federal Government’s $5 billion dollar commitment to the aged care sector in its 2018 budget. We very much welcome this investment and the difference it will make to the lives of older Australians. We would also like to see a greater focus on dementia and with it the funding to address the condition now and into the future.
As we all know, dementia impacts everyone and we can all play a part to support people living with dementia to have the opportunity to remain engaged with their community and lead the life that is important to them. Together we can make a difference.
CEO Dementia Australia