The Dementia Guide, a friend to support people living with dementia and carers

Wednesday 30 November 2016

The Dementia Guide, a comprehensive, free handbook and online guide released today by Alzheimer’s Australia Vic will offer invaluable information and support options for anyone who has been impacted by dementia.

“When my husband Bill was diagnosed with dementia, having a friend, like this Guide, that I could carry in my handbag or have as a conversation starter with family and friends would have been helpful,” Delia Bradshaw, family carer said.

“Hearing a doctor diagnose a loved one with dementia is overwhelming. You only take away a small part of the information provided. A resource like The Dementia Guide will help you understand what you are going through in your own time, as well as making you aware you can reach out for support through the many available services.

“The Dementia Guide is a resource you can keep for the whole journey. It will empower people with the information to talk about dementia, assist in decision-making as the disease progresses, contributing to better health outcomes and quality of life for the person living with dementia, their families and carers,” Ms Bradshaw said.

Leanne Wenig, Acting CEO Alzheimer’s Australia Vic said a diagnosis of dementia can be challenging as well as have a big impact on loved ones.

“With almost 97,000 Victorians living with dementia, The Dementia Guide gives the reader a better understanding of the condition and offers information on how to continue to live well following a diagnosis.

The Guide includes what treatments and services are available as well as information on making plans for the future,” Ms Wenig said

The Dementia Guide is based on a similar resource produced by Alzheimer’s Society in the UK, which has distributed more than 200,000 copies.

Alzheimer’s Australia Vic has 20,000 copies to be distributed throughout Victoria to key health professionals to offer to their patients when discussing a dementia diagnosis.

The publication is divided into sections relating to the various stages of dementia and can be read as a whole or focused on parts relevant to the reader. Each section begins with key points with an overview in an easy to understand format.

Where relevant, online videos, external resources and the more than 100 Alzheimer’s Australia Help Sheets are referenced throughout.

Professor Michael Woodward, Chief Medical Advisor says The Dementia Guide is an important and useful tool in assisting those who may be coming to terms with a diagnosis and highly recommends the resource to other health professionals.

“As a doctor talking to patients every day about dementia, it is comforting to know that I can provide them with The Dementia Guide that will offer support beyond the consulting room,” Professor Woodward said.

The project was funded by the Commonwealth and State Government Home and Community Care program.

The Dementia Guide is available to download from our website at https://www.dementia.org.au/resources/the-dementia-guide.

To talk to someone about dementia people are encouraged to call the National Dementia Helpline 1800 100 500.

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Notes to media:

Stories in the media about dementia may prompt concerns or cause distress for audiences and readers. When writing or talking about dementia, please encourage your audience/readers with the number for our National Dementia Helpline 1800 100 500, a free call, telephone information and support service available across Australia.

What is appropriate language for talking about dementia and why do we need it?

The words used to talk about dementia can have a significant impact on how people with dementia are viewed and treated in our community.

In particular please avoid the use of the word sufferer or suffering – the preferred language is a person/people living with dementia.

Please read our Dementia Language Guidelines that have been developed by people living with dementia and carers.

About Alzheimer’s Australia Vic

In Victoria almost 97,000 people are living with dementia. This figure is projected to increase to 386,000 by 2050. Alzheimer’s Australia Vic is the charity and peak body representing people, of all ages, with all forms of dementia in Victoria. We provide specialised dementia information, education and support services.

Call our National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500 or visit www.fightdementia.org.au/vic

Media contacts:

Christine Bolt 03 9816 5772 / 0400 004 553 /christine.bolt@dementia.org.au

Carol Cage 03 9816 5736 / 0423 352 516 / newsvic@dementia.org.au