Forward with Dementia provides a wealth of information and practical actions to improve life after a dementia diagnosis for people living with dementia and their suporters. Thankfully, we’re not doing this alone. There are other organisations with similar objectives currently running post-diagnostic support programs including Dementia Support Australia, Dementia Australia and the Uniting War Memorial Hospital in Waverly, NSW.
Dementia Support Australia
Dementia Support Australia recently launched “Staying at Home” a free program for carers and people recently diagnosed with dementia. Join other carers and people living with dementia in this peer-support program with different modes of delivery to suit your individual circumstances, including a three day/two night program and a day only program (for two days). Experienced staff, including nurses and allied health clinicians will provide education, practical suggestions and tailored support.
- Understanding more about the impact of dementia
- An introduction to respite, including respite planning
- How to access community care services
- Looking after yourself
- Planning for the future
- Supporting behaviour changes associated with dementia
- Support for transition into respite care
- Meaningful engagement: how to continue enjoyable activities for longer
- Managing physical changes: mobility continence, communication
- Environmental impacts.
Dementia Australia offers six free support sessions for people diagnosed with dementia or mild cognitive impairment. Sessions are run with a skilled Dementia Australia staff member who will work with you to understand your specific situation and provide information and support based on what is most important to you.
The support, which is also available to family and carers, will help you to:
- Increase your understanding of dementia
- connect with support services and networks
- develop personal and lifestyle strategies to live well
- prepare and plan for any changes.
As part of this program, you can be referred to other national services including My Aged Care (MAC) or the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
Uniting iREADi Program
Integrated Rehabilitation for Early Stage Dementia, or the “iREADi” program, aims to improve the participation, wellbeing, and quality of life of people living with early-stage, mild dementia and their carers. It promotes knowledge and skills to help people live a good life with dementia and minimise the development of avoidable problems down the track.
iREADi delivers two components in parallel:
- A 9-week, ability focussed group education program, with sessions facilitated by multidisciplinary clinicians and opportunities to get to know others in the group who are also adjusting to living with a new diagnosis of dementia
- Interdisciplinary rehabilitation-focused on the attainment of 1 or 2 important life goals, as identified by the person living with dementia and their carer.
The iREADi approach is bio-psycho-social, anticipatory, rehabilitation-focused, and time-limited. It’s provided via a multi-disciplinary Management of Dementia team, commonly known as the MOD squad, including professionals in medical, nursing, clinical psychology and neuropsychology, speech pathology, social work, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, dietetics, continence nursing and legal support.
The free program is currently held at the Uniting War Memorial Hospital in Waverley. Potential clients include those with mild, early-stage dementia and their carer/s who live in the South Eastern Sydney Local Health District.