Dementia research

Each week, more than 1800 Australians are diagnosed with dementia, most of whom will eventually require residential care. This isn’t a condition that just affects older people. More people under 55 are being diagnosed and many will need long-term care. We are committed to supporting the work of researchers and health care professionals who are working to support people living with dementia.

The challenge

About 400,000 Australians currently live with the condition, but this figure is expected to rise to one million by the year 2050. Caring for people with dementia accounts for almost 80 per cent of aged care provision in Australia, and many patients have a complex set of needs.

Finding ways to ensure people living with dementia remain engaged with their local communities is a challenge for local councils and carers.

Our response

UOW is committed to improving services so individuals living with dementia have a better quality of life. A major part of this initiative is providing more training to a range of healthcare professionals.

A team of UOW researchers, led by Dr Lyn Philipson, has been working to create dementia-friendly communities. The team’s primary goal is to improve the way people living with dementia interact with their physical, social and cultural environments.

This goal inspired the Dementia-Friendly Kiama Pilot Project. UOW has partnered with Kiama Municipal Council, Alzheimer’s Australia and the Kiama community to examine and implement improved access to shops, banks and other public buildings, pedestrian crossings, roads and pathways. The project also studies social interaction and technology to support the active participation of people living with dementia.

Our opportunity

With your support the research team can adapt the success of the Kiama project and ensure more communities become dementia-friendly communities. Your support will provide more resources for the team to provide education and access strategies for other communities.

Our track record

Project leader Dr Lyn Phillipson has been appointed as an Age-friendly Mentor by the World Health Organisation and the International Federation of Ageing. She is one of just 20 people in the world to be named a mentor in the Age-friendly Environments Mentoring Programme.

The impact

The Dementia-Friendly Kiama Pilot Project has successfully assisted the community to adapt and respond to the challenges posed by an ageing society. It is now moving from the “dementia-friendly” to a “dementia-enabling” phase. This phase aims to make communities not just more liveable but empower people living with dementia to live more fulfilled lives.

Help us ensure people living with dementia remain engaged with their local communities

Stronger together

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