Dementia care has a long way to go

Findings to be presented at next week’s DCRC research forum may surprise a number of service providers.

Findings from some of the projects being undertaken by the Dementia Collaborative Research Centres under the Commonwealth’s Dementia: A Health Priority Initiative may not be music to the ears of many dementia care providers in Australia.

Dr. Lee-Fay Low, a Postdoctoral Research Fellow, has found a striking lack of knowledge in CALD (culturally and linguistically diverse) communities about dementia and its treatment. 

At the same time, Associate Professor Susan Kurrle, a geriatrician working in both hospital and community settings, has found that the physical illnesses that accompany dementia often go unrecognised.

These are just two presentations which may surprise providers at next week’s second National Dementia Research Forum, according to Professor Henry Brodaty, Director of the Primary Dementia Collaborative Research Centre.

Local researchers will join international experts at the Forum in Sydney next week from 18-19 September to showcase the latest research in diagnosis, treatment and management of dementia, as well as providing updates on drug treatments, prevention of dementia and maintaining quality of life with dementia.

“The theme of the Forum is ‘Translating Research into Practice’,” says Professor Brodaty, emphasising the importance of care providers and consumers in the mix of delegates.  “This is applied research – we are asking, how can the lessons from academia translate into best practice at the clinical coalface?  So it is extremely important for the conference to bring together researchers, clinicians, service providers, people with dementia themselves and their carers.”

The Forum is being held in Sydney at the Wesley Conference Centre, 220 Pitt Street, Sydney.  For more information or to register, go to www.dementia.unsw.edu.au and click on the Forum logo on the home page or contact Alex Dunbar on (02) 9385 9060.

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