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New dementia resource to improve quality of life.



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THE HON JUSTINE ELLIOT MP

Minister for Ageing

MEDIA RELEASE

16 June 2008

NEW DEMENTIA RESOURCE TO IMPROVE QUALITY OF LIFE

Minister for Ageing, Mrs Justine Elliot today released a new dementia resource to help improve the quality of life of people living with dementia and assist those who care for them.

The Dementia Resource Guide aims to improve the care and quality of life for people with dementia by providing links to resources on 17 topic areas such as assessment and diagnosis, forward planning, medical treatment and support services.

Mrs Elliot launched the resource at Hammond Care's 7"' Biennial International Dementia Conference at Darling Harbour in Sydney, a conference that will provide the latest information on developments in psychosocial therapies, assistive technologies and models of care.

The Dementia Resource Guide consists of information and resources to assist people with dementia, carers and families, volunteers, and staff providing care and support.

The resource aims to improve the understanding and management of dementia and provides information to assist in planning for the future.

It was developed through Australian Government funding of $385,000 from the Dementia Initiative by a research team at the National Ageing Research Institute.

This is part of $320 million committed by the Australian Government over five years for dementia research and support.

"It is critical we continue to provide support to people living with dementia and those who care for them," Mrs Elliot said.

"Importantly, this guide was developed in consultation with people with dementia, their carers and families, the peak bodies that represent them, service providers and dementia experts," Mrs Elliot said.

Across Australia there are 200,000 Australians affected by dementia including about one in four people aged 85 years and over. This is expected to double in the next 20 years as Australia's population ages.

"Dementia is a major challenge for families and communities — which will only increase with our growing ageing population," Mrs Elliot said.

Mrs Elliot said the research team reviewed more than 700 resources to find the best information available on a range of topics relevant to people living with dementia.

"The new guide can be used by anyone who cares for a person with dementia. This includes family members as well as staff and volunteers in residential care homes, in community care and hospitals."

Mrs Elliot said everyone involved in dementia care had different needs and should have access to a broad range of information, much of which was contained in the guide.

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The Dementia Resource Guide will be available today at www.health.gov.au/dementia

. It will

also be available in CD-Rom format from early July by contacting dementia(cD_health.gov.au

The National Dementia Helpline and Referral Service provides information, advice and referral to people with dementia and their family and carers 24-hours a day, 7 days a week. The Helpline is managed by Alzheimer's Australia and can be reached on 1800 100 500.

Media contact: Ruci Fixter - 0415 359 023 or (02) 6277 7820