Healthcare

Highlights of National Dementia Conference 2016

13 Dec 2016, by Lisa Hedlund

National Dementia Conference 2016

The 7th Annual National Dementia Conference took place on 21-22 March 2016 at the Novotel Brisbane, welcoming 100 attendees from across the country and enabling great networking opportunities amongst carers, consumers, and representatives from federal and state government, associations, not for profit organisations, hospitals, aged care facilities and universities.

Thank you to our 19 speakers for their hard work and contributions to the program, to attendees for their interesting comments and questions throughout, and to Unique Care and Centacare for their support of the conference. Thank you to our endorsers Alzheimer’s Australia, the Australia Journal of Dementia Care, the Australian Pain Society, the Joanna Briggs Institute and ACWA.

Taken directly from the evaluation forms, here is a summary of highlights from this year’s event:

  • Excellent array of speakers talking about ‘real’ issues associated to care provision, politics, and diversity for people living with dementia
  • Consumer and carer presentations were fantastic
  • The variety of topics covered and diverse information to take back
  • Passionate speakers
  • Meeting like-minded people and hearing about excellent presentations and initiatives
  • Hearing the inspiring stories and great work people are doing
  • Acknowledgment that we all struggle with dementia, including those living with dementia
  • Great networking opportunities and listening to many quality speakers
  • Good reference materials to follow up
  • Future techniques about how to think outside of the box
  • Making connections with others

Popular talks included:

‘[There was an] excellent array of speakers talking about ‘real’ issues associated to care provision, politics & diversity for people living with dementia’ – Michelle Harris, Bethanie Group

‘I thought all the presenters did a wonderful job. They all knew their topics and generously shared their knowledge with us’ – Elizabeth Lefrancke, The Wesley Hospital

‘I loved the passion of the speeches. Learned something from each one.’ – Dimity Pond, University of Newcastle

‘Enjoyed being with passionate likeminded people & making connections with others’ – Lyn Carlson, Churches of Christ Care

Here is a list of the top challenges that people have told us they will face in the next 6-12 months:

  • Awareness of dementia
  • Responding to behaviours and staff training
  • Funding
  • Stigma and discrimination
  • Recognition of dementia within a small community
  • Dementia care in rural location
  • Access to resources to use in the acute settings
  • Enabling clients to remain in their own homes for longer

There was a buzz at this year’s event with attendees making connections with one another and discussing their experiences and requirements to fulfil the needs to support dementia friendly communities. There was also an acknowledgment that there is a long road ahead, so attendees explained that they look forward to hearing about new research, new technologies, ongoing funding, and improvements to supporting people living with dementia, their carers and families and service providers.

View presentations from the 7th Annual National Dementia Conference 2016

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