News

Alzheimer’s Australia Vic has announced the appointment of Neil Samuel as Chair of the organisation’s Board of Directors. Mr Samuel, previously the Vice Chair, replaces Graeme Samuel AC whose resignation from the position follows his appointment as President of Alzheimer’s Australia.

Alzheimer’s Australia today announced the appointment of Graeme Samuel AC as the new National President of the organisation. Graeme Samuel was formerly Chair of the Alzheimer’s Australia Victoria Board and has been a member of the National Board for the past year.

Glenn Rees CEO of Alzheimer’s Australia said he was delighted that ABC’s Australian Story had chosen to celebrate the advocacy of Christine Bryden in reducing the stigma and social isolation that is all too often the result of a diagnosis of dementia. “In the fifteen years I have known Christine she has been unwavering in her determination to be a living example that life goes on after a diagnosis of dementia,” Mr Rees said.

Alzheimer’s Australia is disappointed by today’s announcement of the termination of the Dementia and Severe Behaviours Supplement because of an expenditure blow out. However, we welcome the Minister’s commitment to work with consumers and service providers to support people with severe Behavioural and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia (BPSD). We look forward to taking part in these consultations.

Sixty of Australia’s leading dementia experts and advocates have made a commitment to ensure that the Government’s $200 million dementia research boost will make a lasting difference in the prevention, treatment and management of dementia for all Australians. In a recent meeting hosted by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), ideas were presented by research leaders, community advocates and Federal and State Government representatives on how Australia could best direct its research efforts in dementia.

Discussion Paper 10, Preventing financial abuse of people with dementia, June 2014.

The financial abuse of people with dementia is a concern to Dementia Australia NSW with staff hearing about numerous cases.

This research was conducted to examine how the abuse occurs and what can be done to prevent or reduce the incidence of it.

It is expected that by 2056 one in four people living in Australia will be over the age of 65 and 1.8 million of them will be over 85. What this means has been the subject of much public debate and this year’s Federal Budget includes a number of measures that ask significant sacrifices of older Australians to manage this future. COTA Australia sees the need for a more integrated approach.

There is an urgent need for the community to address the social impact of a dementia diagnosis on people with the disease, Ita Buttrose told guests at the inaugural Bring it to the Table event in Brisbane this evening. “People often talk about the implications of dementia on the health system, but it’s equally important to discuss the impact a diagnosis of dementia has on the relationships, quality of life and community engagement of people living with dementia,” she said.

People with dementia have a longer length of stay and worse outcomes than people without dementia who stay in hospitals, with nearly half of those with dementia not having their diagnosis recorded, according to the Hospital Dementia Services Project. Ahead of a national public lecture tour for Alzheimer’s Australia, Professor Brian Draper, Conjoint Professor in the School of Psychiatry University of New South Wales, has spoken in Perth today about the project, which examined the care of people with dementia in acute hospitals and provided solutions to avoid potentially preventable barriers to quality care.

Australian of the Year Ita Buttrose has called on both sides of politics to commit to the full implementation of the vital aged care reform package, Living Longer. Living Better. to achieve the quality services older Australians urgently need. Ms Buttrose, National President of Alzheimer’s Australia, told the National Press Club today that the aged care system is failing people.

Discussion Paper 9, Dementia in prison, March 2014

The ageing population in Australia’s prisons has grown at a rate faster than that of the general population resulting in the potential for an increase in the number of people with dementia living in a prison setting.

Government announces changes that will make it easier for people with Alzheimer’s disease to remain on anti-dementia medications. On Monday 22 April, Ministers Plibersek and Butler announced changes to the rules regarding subsidised access to the four approved antidementia medications: Aricept, Reminyl, Excelon and Ebixa. This was a result of a review of the latest research evidence on their safety and effectiveness, as well as an examination of costs and prescribing rates by a committee reporting to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC).

My grandfather was admitted to a nursing home in Sydney in 1962 suffering from dementia. He was 85. He had migrated from Calcutta some years before to join his children in Sydney. We hadn't seen him for many years but it was obvious when he got off the plane that he wasn't right. He spent some difficult years at his daughter's house as his condition deteriorated.

Soon it will be a year since my 'ex' - we shared this house - died from dementia. Or so the death certificate said. From the very first, years ago, what has angered me is the total absence of a protocol requiring the medical profession to properly diagnose, and communicate to those directly affected, the onset of dementia. In fact the medical profession, always with certain exceptions of whom one is my urologist, are totally unwilling to communicate, or perhaps are incapable of communicating. It is almost as though they belong to the Order of Trappists.

Meet Cae, the passionate marathon swimmer who is about to embark on a journey that will see him raise crucial funds for Alzheimer’s Australia Dementia Research Foundation. “While I could swim as a child I did not really swim much and only took to open water swimming 3 1/2 years ago. Since then I have grown to love marathon swimming and its challenges and have swum successively longer distances: Lake Argyle (WA) 10 km, Rottnest Channel (WA) 20 km, Palm Beach to Manly (NSW) 26 km,” Cae said.

Healthier lifestyles could lower rates of dementia A report released today by Alzheimer’s Australia and the Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing (CHeBA), Is the Incidence of Dementia Declining?, suggests that action on preventative health could lower the risk of dementia for future generations.

The late Gordon Nutt's experiences living in Cygnet.

After Gordon’s diagnosis in 2007 I decided we needed to move from our fairly isolated 45 acre property and I thought the suburbs of Hobart might prove just as isolated given our new circumstances. I felt a town like Cygnet might provide the life Gordon now needed and I couldn’t have been more right! When we arrived in Cygnet Gordon was still extremely physically fit and the town provided a safe environment for him to perform what had become his favourite pastime…to “walk, walk, walk”. Cygnet actually proved to be far more than just safe. The entire town accepted and embraced Gordon, from the youngest to the oldest residents. Over the years I’ve heard it said that Gordon was a gift to Cygnet, that Cygnet ‘grew up’ around Gordon and that he changed Cygnet, bringing acceptance and understanding…just a few of the special comments people have made. All Cygnetites looked out for and protected Gordon.

His speech had reduced to a few phrases, the most ‘famous’ being “this, that and the other”, but also “can’t complain”, “okey dokey”, “marvellous”, “bugger me” and another one probably best not to repeat here…but those here from Cygnet will know what I mean!

These phrases are now in the Cygnet lexicon and can often be heard in the main street!

A new online campaign has been launched in a bid to get people to Start2Talk about their future wishes. The campaign asks people to ‘choose it or lose it’ and encourages people to talk to their loved ones about their future health and financial wishes should they ever be in a position not to make those decisions themselves.

We take the liberty of writing to Alzheimer’s Australia in the hope that your voice will make a difference for vulnerable people in nursing homes who are at the mercy of the endemic ‘one size fits all’ mentality. We have seen first-hand the stripping away of a person’s dignity, their worth, their self esteem. We have seen first-hand the crushing of their spirit. We have seen first-hand that ‘high care’ remains a theory – an absolute misnomer unsupported by practical application.
Alzheimer’s Australia has welcomed the wide-ranging recommendations to improve the quality of residential and community care, which were made by the Senate Community Affairs Committee Inquiry into the Care and Management of Younger and Older Australians Living with Dementia and Behavioural and Psychiatric Symptoms of Dementia (BPSD).