CDPC research highlighted at international forum

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Alzheimer’s Disease International’s push for a Global Plan of Action on Dementia by the World Health Organisation will be realised with likely adoption later this month, attendees at the recent International Conference of ADI in Kyoto, Japan were told.

The plan will provide a worldwide framework for action, and targeted spending by governments and organisations improving the lives of people with dementia globally.

With a theme of “Together towards a new era” the conference focused on the global community, as well as local communities, to work on a shared vision to achieve dementia-friendly communities, reduce stigma, appropriate language use and ensure all people have the opportunity to live well with dementia.

Within the diverse international audience Australian representatives highlighted the influence that our research is having on the global stage. In his keynote presentation Dr Faizal Ibrahim outlined the Dignity in Care Campaign and highlighted the importance of dignity for people with dementia through the Ten Principles of Care. It is these ten principles that also underpin the CDPC’s Clinical Practice Guidelines and Principles of Care for People with Dementia.

In her oral presentation Jane Thompson, a CDPC Consumer, discussed that while these guidelines were focused on health professionals they were also a vital resource for consumers. Jane described the importance of consumer involvement in the development of the guidelines and the subsequent Consumer Companion Guide. This Guide ensures that people with dementia and their carers and families have access to a relevant and easy to use and understand summary of key recommendations in the Guidelines.

In another concurrent session, Jane also spoke of her own reasons for wanting to be involved in dementia research, the value of consumer involvement in research and the changing Australian landscape of support for consumers in research. A poster presented by the CDPC Directorate also outlined consumer involvement in CDPC from its initial stages to now having either someone with dementia or a care partner involved in every CDPC project.

Dementia Friendly Communities were a particular focus of this year’s conference with many international speakers from Japan, Canada, UK and Singapore outlining their strategies toward improving community care for people with dementia.

Culturally, the Japanese primary model of care resides in the community setting with many presentations examining how they can improve quality of life and reduce stigma for people with dementia in the community through education programs, videos and booklets.

In other oral presentations, Professor Kurrle spoke on the Northern Sydney Dementia Collaborative, a program to help a person with dementia navigate community services available to them, Kate Swaffer stressed the importance for human rights based approach for people living with dementia, and John Quinn and Glenys Petrie shared their experiences of living well with dementia.

With Japan’s expertise in technology it was exciting to meet “Pepper” a communications robot that learns, has emotions and feelings.

It was no surprise that the poster from CDPC Project being undertaken at Brightwater Care Group “Understanding the impact of Socialisation Robots on the Social Engagement of Older Adults with Cognitive Decline” was of great interest.

Other posters presented at ADI from CDPC funded projects included a collaborative project between Helping Hand Aged Care and Brightwater Care Group “Interprofessional Education in Aged care- IPEAC Toolkit” and the project led by Katrina Anderson’s, “Improving residential dementia care through staff: a systematic review of the evidence”

Sally Grosvenor, CDPC Communications Officer