Help is at hand for people living with dementia and carers

Tuesday 8 December 2015

Knowing where to go for help is now a whole lot easier for people with dementia and their carers thanks to a new online service developed by Alzheimer’s Australia Vic at www.helpwithdementia.org.au.

Alzheimer’s Australia Vic’s Online Dementia Support service enhances existing services, enabling access to 24 hour information and resources; counselling via email or video conference; a forum for participating in an online peer support community; and 16 videos with experts and carers sharing their experiences to help others.

Delia Bradshaw, a family carer, said she was delighted to be involved and to support the development of the Online Dementia Support service.

“Having this information at hand when my husband Bill was diagnosed six years ago would have helped enormously in our understanding about the disease and what support was available.

“Finding information and support early is important for family members to help them to understand how dementia is impacting on them and the person they care for. This will empower them to offer the best care and support for a loved one to enable them to live well with dementia for as long as is possible.

“The support we received from Alzheimer’s Australia Vic changed our lives for the better. Now this support is available online, any time, I know that many more people will feel supported and know that they are not alone,” Ms Bradshaw said.

The Alzheimer’s Australia Vic Client Services team has developed the Online Dementia Support service to enable easier access for people seeking information and support, acknowledging the time challenges people living with dementia and carers face juggling work, home, family, appointments and other commitments.

In the videos experts and family carers help others to learn more about dementia, offer tips on more effective communication, discuss changes in behaviour and offer useful information on residential care.

“Being able to access our Online Dementia Support service means carers and people living with dementia can watch videos in their own time, and repeatedly if needed. They can take the time to read and absorb information that, especially on receiving a diagnosis can be overwhelming,” Leanne Wenig, General Manager Client Services Alzheimer’s Australia Vic said.

“Our email and video conference counselling will provide more accessibility options for our clients.

“And through the online forum carers and people living with dementia will be able to connect with others to swap stories which will provide invaluable peer support at all hours,” Ms Wenig said.

The Online Dementia Support service is part of a suite of services offered by Alzheimer’s Australia Vic available to all people living with dementia, their carers, families, friends and anyone seeking information and support. These services include Dementia Counselling; Family Education; the National Dementia Helpline 1800 100 500, the Living With Dementia program and access to extensive resources, information and advice.

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Notes to media

When writing or talking about dementia, please provide your audience with the number for our National Dementia Helpline 1800 100 500 - a 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. 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 81,200 people are living with dementia. This figure is projected to increase to 246,000 by 2050.

Alzheimer’s Australia Vic is the charity representing people, of all ages, with all forms of dementia in Victoria. As the peak body, 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 contact:

Stephanie Puls +613 9816 5745 / +613 400 004 553 / stephanie.puls@dementia.org.au