Carers of people with dementia are being encouraged to participate in a new online education program developed by the University of Wollongong to boost uptake of respite services.
The free program includes online goal setting and motivation building activities to help carers overcome common barriers to using respite.
The 10-week program supports carers to work towards personal goals, learn more about respite and navigate the system.
Dr Liz Cridland from the university’s Australian Health Services Research Institute said caring for a person living with dementia can be a positive experience, however the challenges can cause feelings of frustration and exhaustion and many carers feel guilty about asking for support.
“There have been a lot of changes over the past two years in the way that respite services are delivered in Australia. This program will help carers navigate the system with more confidence and re-think how respite can support them and the person with dementia for whom they care,” Dr Cridland said.
The online project builds on a face-to-face program that was run in the Illawarra Shoalhaven region of NSW earlier this year and aims to extend the program’s reach to a wider audience of carers.
Dr Cridland said the education and support program is assisting carers to overcome the personal and systemic barriers to using respite.
Some participants may also receive online coaching with a qualified health professional or peer support in an online forum.
The ‘ReThink Respite Online’ project has been funded through a grant from the Alzheimer’s Australia Research Foundation and is available to carers in all states and territories except WA and Victoria.
For more information or to enrol click here