National Dementia Conference 2016
Dementia is the most significant health issue facing the nation, and according to the AIHW, the number of Australians living with dementia is expected to rise to 400,000 in less than five years. The sharing of information and range of services available is a key element to supporting people living with dementia, their families and carers. Ongoing research into a number of areas of dementia is critical, including the importance of raising awareness and reducing the stigma attached to this chronic and progressive disease.
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
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
• 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 acknowledgement 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
Kate Swaffer spoke at last year’s conference and has recently released a book about her experiences of being diagnosed with a form of younger onset dementia at just 49 years old.
Click here for further information >>What the Hell Happened to my brain? – Book Order Form
Kate has also been involved in a documentary called The Last Laugh – which is about seeing dementia differently.