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Australia joins global dementia awareness campaign


An Australian film about how technology is helping people with dementia and their carers is part of a global campaign to raise awareness about the condition, which affects an estimated 50 million people worldwide.

The 5-minute film, along with 22 others made by peak dementia organisations from around the world, was unveiled at an international Alzheimer’s conference over the weekend.

The film features world-first Australian innovations in virtual reality, interactive 3D games, apps and immersive training experiences.

In it, carers and people with dementia talk about their experiences with the technology in their own voices.

Doug Woods describes how virtual reality technology helped him understand the world experienced by his wife Kathy.

“This sort of technology has helped me have a better understand of how Kathy is seeing things, like looking into the bathroom … where all is white and not recognising the toilet,” he says.

“By placing yourself in their position you can now understand their concerns.”

#Every3Seconds, led by Alzheimer’s Disease International and launched at the Alzheimer’s Disease International Conference in Chicago, refers to the fact that one person around the world is diagnosed with dementia every three seconds.

Other films cover stigma surrounding the condition and highlight the need for improved care and quality support services. They also seek to get across the message that dementia is a disease of the brain rather than a natural part of ageing.

It’s expected that 60 million people around the world will be affected by dementia by the end of 2018. In Australia, 425,000 people have dementia, with 250 new diagnoses a day, according to Dementia Australia.

The number of Australians with dementia is expected to increase to 1.1 million in 2056 unless there is a breakthrough in treatment.

Australia CEO Maree McCabe travelled to Chicago to speak about Australian technology at the conference, where she told delegates it was transforming quality of life for people with dementia and changing Australia’s dementia care.

“Dementia Australia has led the world in the application of technology to improve the lives of people impacted by dementia and the #Every3Seconds program is the perfect platform to showcase this internationally,” she said.

To view the Dementia Australia film go here.

Information about Dementia Australia’s technology can be found here.

Find out more about #Every3Seconds here.

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