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National Dementia Conference

Addressing the Critical Issues in Dementia Research, Treatment & Care

15-16 May 2019 | Rendezvous Hotel, Melbourne

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Special rate available for people with dementia and their carers


Over the past 10 years, the National Dementia Conference has grown to become a critical national platform for medical professionals, carers, researchers, aged-care workers, and policy makers involved in the diagnosis, treatment, and care of people living with dementia.

With the announcement of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, this year’s event presents a unique opportunity to explore what’s possible and embrace change.

The comprehensive, two-day program will bring together a host of leading experts to discuss best-practice strategies and initiatives for improving quality person-centered care across multiple settings, and will also detail the latest research, therapies and treatments, innovation, and technologies from around the world.

Don’t miss this exceptional networking opportunity and chance to share your ideas, knowledge, and experience with leaders from across the sector.

Key topics to include:

  • Predictive cognitive decline and diagnosing dementia
  • Ethical decision-making in established dementia
  • The imminent therapeutic approach to delay or prevent Alzheimer’s – what will it be and what will it mean?
  • Managing risks within acute hospital environments
  • The use and abuse of medication in dementia
  • Managing pain for people with cognitive impairment
  • Novel therapies and interventions and assessing their impact i.e. music therapy
  • Understanding the experiences and needs of LGBTI people living with dementia – how to provide inclusive care and services
  • Supporting the transition between nursing homes and acute care facilities
  • Younger onset dementia
  • Effective communication and engagement strategies
  • Caring for carers – the need for respite and support
  • Dementia in rural communities
  • The impact of nutrition in outcome, disease, and caregiver burden
  • Legal issues in dementia
  • Dementia and indigenous populations
  • Advanced care planning for people living with dementia
  • Plus, much more




9:00 am

OPENING | Opening remarks from the Chair

Dr David Sykes, Director, Centre for Dementia Learning, Dementia Australia


9:10 am

  • John’s story – Who I am and how I live well with Dementia
  • Understanding people living with dementia who have professional backgrounds
  • PALZ – Why we chose this business model
  • Minimising the disconnect from peers by creating socially and intellectually stimulating environments
  • Utilizing the strength of the person with dementia and the partner and working as a team

9:40 am

KEYNOTE | A Matter of Care – Making the Change Happen

Professor John Pollaers OAM, Swinburne University

10:10 am

  • A recent Lancet article has reviewed factors that are associated with an increased risk of dementia
  • This raises the possibility of prevention, if factors are identified early enough. It also raises the possibility of identifying those at risk of dementia.
  • While guidelines everywhere recommend against general population screening, the same does not apply to targeted screening of those at risk
  • This approach may improve the identification of dementia, which is currently quite poor.

10:40 am

Networking and refreshment break

11:10 am

  • Why timely diagnosis for dementia is important and how to achieve this
  • The most common types of dementia and how to recognize the differences
  • How to manage treatment and care accordingly

11:40 am

General Practitioners (GP) and Practice Nurses (PN) must be alert to the presence of a dementia as it impacts on all chronic disease management (CDM). Effective dementia care requires collaboration between GPs and PNs and other members of the primary care team, however the PN is well-positioned to take a central role in identifying cognitive impairment and providing appropriate chronic disease management care planning in primary care. Nurses are the most trusted health professional with the PN often having a relationship that extends over many years with the patient and is usually responsible for the development of CDM plans. By increasing confidence to talk about cognition and the knowledge and skills to identify CI and its impact on an individual’s health self-management, the PN can play a vital role in improving dementia care in primary care. The PN can potentially increase identification of CI in the patient group with existing chronic disease, normalise the conversation about cognition and develop individualised chronic disease management in the context of the individual’s cognitive status supporting self-management. The Dementia Pathways Tool, an online resource, has been developed to help GPs and PNs to deliver best-practice dementia care and cognitively aware chronic disease management.


12:10 pm

  • Young Onset Dementia affects 25,000 Australians, making up nearly 10% of all dementia diagnoses
  • People with Young Onset Dementia and their families experience many barriers to care, including diagnostic delay of up to 5 years, frequent misdiagnosis, a lack of age appropriate support services and significant carer and family burden
  • The BRIGHT-YOD project aims to improve health outcomes for people living with Young Onset Dementia by providing diagnostic, support and educational services using novel telehealth technology
  • This project aims to provide timely access to specialist care, reduce the personal and economic costs related to geographic diversity and build expertise in Young Onset Dementia across our Victorian partner services (CDAMS, Dementia Australia and Huntington’s Victoria).

12:40 pm

Lunch and networking break

2:10 pm

  • The local challenges and how these have been overcome
  • A collaborative approach to improving care services for Aboriginal people living with dementia
  • Co-designing services with stronger supports and to promote inclusion in their community

2:40 pm

  • Challenges of navigating cultural and linguistic diversity in health care
  • Exploring culturally and linguistically appropriate dementia care through case studies
  • Improving cross cultural communication to extend better person centred care

3:10 pm

Networking and refreshment break


3:40 pm

  • Background Frailty Hub UK
  • Background Frailty Hub Perth, WA & why we had to start it!
  • GP frailty hub model vs Silver Chain Frailty Hub Model in WA
  • Benefits of Frailty hub – pros and cons
  • How to start a frailty hub in your community

4:10 pm

  • Learning, living and laughing – the stories shared and experienced by people living with dementia, their families and friends to the Nurse Practitioner Dementia Outreach Service
  • Examples of support that has been requested/ offered and success rates
  • Services available in the community; accessible for everyone?
  • Future planning; necessary or needless?
  • Scenarios and solutions

4:40 pm

CLOSING | Closing remarks from the Chair

5:00 pm

Networking drinks

9:00 am

OPENING | Opening remarks from the Chair


9:05 am

KEYNOTE | A Therapeutic Approach to Delay or Prevent Alzheimer’s is Imminent - What Will It Be and What Will It Mean?

Associate Professor Michael Woodward, Director Memory Clinic and Director Aged Care Research, Austin Health

9:40 am

  • Ageing typically results in a decrease in adult born neurons with a subsequent decline in cognitive function
  • Physical exercise has been demonstrated to increase both neurogenesis and cognitive function
  • We have identified an optimised exercise period in very aged animals that improves cognition
  • We then went on to examine key exercise-mediated mechanisms involved in these improvements

10:20 am

Networking and refreshment break

10:50 am

Felicity will present an overview of the role of music therapy in residential care home contexts including the latest research findings and currently ongoing research. She will also introduce a protocol for a family-carer home based music intervention to manage the behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia and to support the maintenance of a meaningful relationship between the family-care and person with dementia.


11:20 am

  • There are a number of physical health conditions (physical comorbidities) that occur more commonly in people with dementia than in the general population of the same age.
  • This presentation provides an overview of these physical conditions which accompany and complicate dementia.
  • Covering the underlying pathology and evidence-based recommendations on how to recognize and manage these conditions.
  • Providing practical suggestions for health professionals and caregivers on improving care for people with dementia.

11:50 am

  • Misuse of psychotropics for BPSD includes failure to obtain consent
  • Aged Care environments provide unique contexts for prescribing and intervening
  • The Electronic National Residential Medication Chart provides an opportunity for shared information regarding consent and its documentation

12:20 pm

Lunch and networking break


1:20 pm

  • ‘Home-like’, small scale or clustered domestic models of residential aged care are increasing in availability internationally
  • Within Australia a comparison of this model of care provided for people living with dementia with standard Australian care showed associations with better outcomes for residents
  • Running costs of providing this model of care were no higher and projections of possible capital cost implications will be discussed
  • How can we increase implementation of these models of care in Australia?

1:50 pm

Changing culture within care environments to truly bring together person centred care and skilled service provision is a major challenge. The Montessori Approach offers a promising way forward. This presentation will highlight the outcomes of a two-year, longitudinal mixed methods research study in a memory support unit, demonstrating the benefits to residents, families, staff and the care environment. Researchers have included Associate Professor Anne Whitworth, Dr Jade Cartwright, Dr Michelle Bennett.

2:20 pm

Networking Break


2:50 pm

  • What are the main elements of the law informing Advance Care Planning
  • What role is there for doctors in helping patients to engage in Advance Care Planning?
  • Who else can help a person engage effectively in Advance Care Planning?
  • How can you provide practicable and appropriate support so that a person can exercise their decision making capacity?
  • What are the key communication/listening issues to consider when assisting a person, living with dementia and their family members, to engage in Advance Care Planning?
  • How can a family member gather information which reflects their understanding of a person’s preferences and values?
  • What might good Vs poor Advance Care Planning look like?
  • What obligations are there for aged care providers in relation to Advance Care Planning?

3:20 pm

Explored through the story of a person living with Dementia, the panel will unpack complex issues, explore experiences in different clinical settings and discuss how challenges can be managed. At the end of the discussion, we will put some key questions to the audience for their consideration.

  • Introduction – rules of the game, how to vote, who is on the panel. 5min
  • Background & Context – sets the story up (not sure what it is yet!) 2 min
  • Inkling/ early changes – family response, health system – especially primary care response 10 min
  • Living with dementia – Treatments, Driving, EPOA, the timing for RAC and triggers. The transition to RAC will raise discussion on BPSD, continence, night care issues and isolation 20 min
  • Caring/Supporting and Dying well with Dementia – the enacting of the EPOA, the questions of self-determination, dignity of risk and taking control and Adv Care Planning 10 min

4:15 pm

CLOSING | Closing remarks from the Chair

4:20 pm

End of Conference


Packages Price
Two day conference + Workshop$2095+GSTEarly Bird
Two Day Conference$1595+GSTEarly Bird
  • Early bird rate expires on 01 March 2019


Special rate available for people with dementia, their family and carers. Click here for more information


Dr David Sykes

Director, Centre for Dementia Learning, Dementia Australia

Dr John Roth

Cathy Roth

National Chairman, PALZ - Professionals with Alzheimer's

Professor John Pollaers OAM

Swinburne University

Professor Constance Dimity Pond

Professor of General Practice, University of Newcastle

Toby Commerford

Consultant, Geriatric Medicine, Royal Adelaide Hospital, Course Coordinator for Geriatric Medicine, University of Adelaide Medical School

Caroline Gibson

Practice Nurse, Ballarat Community Health

Associate Professor Mark Yates

FRACP, Consultant Geriatrician, Ballarat Health Services, Director of Clinical Studies, Deakin University

Dr Wendy Kelso

Senior Clinical Neuropsychologist, Neuropsychiatry Unit, Royal Melbourne Hospital

Dr Sarah Farrand

Consultant Neuropsychiatrist, Melbourne Health

Pauline Crameri

Co-ordinator – Val's LGBTI Ageing and Aged Care @GLHV Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society, La Trobe University

Faye Dean

Karajarri Traditional Owner, Bidyadanga Community

Ryan Hammond

Community Care Support Worker, Bidyadanga HACC

Monita Mascitti-Meuter

Cultural Diversity Program Coordinator, St Vincent's Melbourne

Karen Thode

Cultural Diversity Officer and Residential Support Program Clinician, St Vincent's Hospital

Associate Professor Poh Kooi Loh

Edith Cowan University & President, ANZSGM West Australia

Dr Ami Kamdar

Head of General Medicine (Consultant Physician) and Consultant Geriatrician, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital

Toni Simpson

Nurse Practitioner Dementia Outreach Service, Gold Coast Health, Queensland Health

Associate Professor Michael Woodward

Director Memory Clinic and Director Aged Care Research, Austin Health

Dr Daniel Blackmore

Neuroscientist, Queensland Brain Institute, The University of Queensland

Professor Felicity Baker

Director, International Research Partnerships, Creative Arts and Music Therapy Research Unit, University of Melbourne

Roseanne Hogarth

Clinical Research Coordinator, RACS Research Unit, Rehabilitation & Aged Care Service, Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital

Conjoint Professor Carmelle Peisah

UNSW, Sydney University, Lead, Empowered Project, President, Capacity Australia

Dr Suzanne Dyer

Senior Research Fellow, NHMRC Cognitive Decline Partnership Centre, Department of Rehabilitation, Aged and Extended Care, Flinders University

Elizabeth Oliver

Senior Occupational Therapist, Catholic Homes Inc

Claire McNamara

Legal Officer, Office of the Public Advocate

Dr Barbara Hayes

Clinical Leader - Advanced Care Planning Program, Palliative Care Consultant, Northern Health

Workshop & Site Tour


The workshop will provide evidence-based practice and show case real life experiences from BlueCross.
STARLife represents Living, Independence, Fulfillment and Engagement. This workshop tells the story of STARLife from 2014-2019, includes research undertaken by The National Ageing Research Institute (NARI), commissioned by BlueCross.

Workshop Outline:

  • Learnings from research undertaken by NARI, interviews with staff, families, external stakeholders and residents and a literature review identifying that there is not a “one size fits all” model for dementia care.
  • Findings: that staff wanted more education, that the built design and environments were of importance, that residents and families wanted meaningful engagement and life style choices and that dementia expertise was of value.
  • BlueCross have a dedicated Dementia Care Specialist, in-house occupational and physio therapy, life style leaders and nurse practitioners.
    • The team will present and demonstrate some of the innovative ways of supporting people living with dementia, embracing innovation and applying design principals
  • Members of the BlueCross team will explain how they support people living dementia and offer a tour to the residence to show case these activities. BlueCross Ivanhoe has:
    • a memory environment with a bespoke nostalgia kitchen
    • a men’s shed
    • a resident gym
    • other enabling spaces and activities
  • The Human Room at BlueCross
    • BlueCross Ivanhoe have a dedicated Human Room, providing a sophisticated multi-sensory experience. Artist and Designer Efterpi Soroposi will demonstrate the room and discuss resident benefits
  • The impact: interviews with staff, families and residents about their experiences

Workshop Leader:
Bridget Howes, Dementia Care Specialist, BlueCross Community & Residential Services
Guest speaker:
Efterpi Soroposi, Creative Practitioner will present The Human Room

Date: 17 May 2019
Time: 9:00am-12:00pm

BlueCross Ivanhoe
250 Waterdale Road, Ivanhoe, Victoria, 3079

About BlueCross:
BlueCross have over 30 residences and home care services in metropolitan Melbourne, Philip Island and Kilmore. BlueCross Ivanhoe is a 178-bed aged care residence with a dedicated memory support environment for people living with dementia. The residence has been carefully designed and opened about 18 months ago. The residence has, a café, movie theatre, private dining room, men’s shed, gym and hairdressing. BlueCross Ivanhoe also provides day respite to clients living in their own homes and provides a range of activities providing opportunities for engagement.


What does dementia feel like?
In Australia 342,000 people are living with Dementia – a pervasive collection of symptoms including memory loss, confusion and apathy. Read more >>

A new therapeutic for Alzheimer’s is imminent – what is it and what will it mean?
An ageing population could see global cases of dementia and its major form Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) almost double every twenty years. Read more >>

when & where

15 - 16 May 2019

Rendezvous Melbourne
328 Flinders St, Melbourne VIC 3000
(03) 9250 1888

Book Accommodation with Lido Group
For your convenience Lido Group will manage your accommodation needs. Click here or call on 02 8585 0808.


Still have a question?

Francesca Brewer
Conference Manager
0439 780 927

Danielle Newman
Business Development Executive
+61 2 9080 4432

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