Dr Gillian Stockwell-Smith
Menzies Health Institute Queensland
Optimising Health Outcomes Program
Dementia Awareness Month Event
Supporting care recipient/carer dyads in the early stages of dementia
There are currently more than 47 million people worldwide living with dementia. Dementia is a progressive, life limiting condition and a leading contributor to disability and dependence amongst people aged 65 years or older. In 2016 the Alzheimer's Disease International (ADI) estimated the economic impact of dementia worldwide to be US$818 billion per year, and predict it will reach US$1 trillion by 2018. Coping with dementia is frequently uncertain and unpredictable and necessitates fundamental changes to everyday living. The behavioural and functional changes that occur with dementia can create frustration and conflict, and it is not uncommon for family relationships to be compromised.
This presentation reports on the outcomes from a mixed-methods study that sought to establish the effectiveness of early intervention in improving self-efficacy, wellbeing and dyadic relationship outcomes for care recipient/carer dyads in the early-stages of dementia. The study findings highlight key issues regarding the acceptability of early intervention/forward planning approaches and how the dyads had adapted to the progressive functional and cognitive changes they were experiencing. A proactive approach with interventions offered at the beginning of the disease/care trajectory is considered an effective way to develop the coping resources of the person living with dementia and their family carers, to prevent or delay progression into a more dependent or critical period. However, dementia is also a condition that is cloaked in stigma and misunderstanding, factors that have the potential to isolate those living with the condition from sources of practical and emotional support.
Gillian Stockwell-Smith is a Registered Nurse with more than thirty years' clinical experience in aged care in hospital and community care settings. Dr Stockwell-Smith currently holds a joint appointment with Griffith University and Gold Coast Health as a Research Fellow sub-acute and aged nursing. Her research interests are in ageing and dementia care in acute and community care settings, with a focus on exploring and sustaining dyadic care recipient/carer relationships through psychosocial intervention.
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September is Dementia Awareness Month
The purpose of Dementia Awareness Month is to encourage Australians to become dementia-aware, have a better understanding of what it is like for a person to live with dementia, and ultimately be encouraged to create communities where people with dementia are supported to live a high quality of life with meaning, purpose and value. The theme for 2017 is You are not alone and the main activities are a series of seminars with international and local dementia experts and key note speakers. Read more here.
RSVP on or before Thursday 7 September 2017 , by email firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone (07) 3735 7212