What is dementia?
Dementia Australia describes dementia as
- a collection of symptoms caused by disorders affecting the brain. It is not one specific disease.
- Dementia can affect thinking, memory and behaviour. Brain function is affected enough to interfere with someone’s normal social or working life.
- No two people experience dementia in the same way.
- It is essential to get a medical diagnosis when symptoms first appear.
- People often lead active and fulfilling lives for many years after their diagnosis.
Dementia Australia offers a range of support for people living with dementia and their carers, families and friends.
In the ACT you can contact the local office on (02) 6255 0722.
You can also call the National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500.
A diagnosis of dementia
A diagnosis of dementia can bring a mix of emotions to you and your family. Early diagnosis is important to allow you to live better by managing your symptoms, accessing a range of health and support services and planning for the future.
Services Guide: Find local support
In the ACT, CHN and the HealthPathways team have been working with health professionals, Dementia Australia and people living with dementia and their carers to create a services guide – Early Connections in Your Dementia Journey Services Guide.
The guide was designed to be a resource that you can come back to throughout your dementia journey.
The services in the guide include:
- national dementia support organisations
- translation, interpretation and relay services
- government support
- advocacy organisations
- after hours providers
- care coordination/navigation
- allied health
- advance care planning
- legal and financial assistance
- social and recreational programs
- support groups and social groups
- aids and equipment suppliers
Each service listed in the resource has a check box so that you and your family or your GP can tick the services you would like to contact. There are also lots of ‘useful tips’ highlighted throughout the services guide.
Information for Carers
The team has also created a companion guide to highlight useful services guide for carers of people living with dementia.
For further support, carers can contact the local Carers ACT office on (02) 6296 9900 or visit Carer Gateway.
What is the PHN doing to support people living with dementia in the ACT?
The ACT & SNSW HealthPathways Dementia Pathway Project.
Here at Capital Health Network (CHN), the ACT’s Primary Health Network (PHN), we are committed to supporting local people living with dementia and their carers, families and friends. We are currently participating in a Commonwealth-funded Dementia Pathway Project alongside Dementia Australia and other PHNs across Australia. The intention of this project is to support the early diagnosis of dementia and to help facilitate early connections in dementia care.
The main three activities for this project are:
- created two consumer services guides for carers and patients that maps local care and support services that can support people living with dementia to make those early connections in their dementia journey.
- providing local clinical and referral information for health professionals in the ACT to be hosted on the ACT & SNSW HealthPathways site.
- facilitating educational opportunities for health professionals in the ACT to support the best possible provision of care for people living with dementia and their carers, families and friends.