Online program promises hope against silent killer
A NEW training program is bringing fresh optimism to people with dementia with the online tool promising earlier diagnosis and better support for patients, their families and carers.
General Practice Training Tasmania's Dementia Care Training and Education Program was officially launched today by the Minister for Aged Care Ken Wyatt who claimed the module would provide services that were of "vital importance".
An estimated 425,000 Australians are living with dementia and it's the nation's second most common cause of death.
"Securing early diagnosis provides important opportunities for treatment to improve symptoms, to get your affairs in order and smooth the path for the future, and to access community services and supports," the minister said.
"While general dementia literacy among health professionals is alarmingly low, evaluation of this program has already demonstrated promising changes in doctors' clinical behaviour, due to improved awareness, knowledge and confidence in dementia care."
Pioneered in Tasmania, the program aims to deliver tailored, quality training and education in dementia care to health professionals, helping to provide personalised care and combat misinformation surrounding dementia.
"Local doctors will be better able to assess carers' knowledge and their roles in providing support for people living with dementia," said Minister Wyatt.
"Practice nurses will also be better equipped to recognise dementia symptoms and assist patients and families, particularly in rural and remote communities.
"These insights should help reduce stigma and empower families and carers."
For more dementia information, go to www.dementia.org.au or contact the National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500.