Palliative Care NSW Volunteer Support Services Programme
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Supporting someone with dementia

Did you know that dementia is the second leading cause of death of Australians? And that since 2016 it has been the leading cause of death of Australian women, surpassing heart disease?

Dementia is the term used to describe a collection of symptoms that are caused by disorders affecting the brain. Dementia is not one specific disease, it is an umbrella term for a large group of illnesses which cause a progressive decline in a person’s mental functioning.

In New South Wales alone it is estimated there are 153 000 people living with dementia, more than any other state.

It would not be unusual to find that during the course of their role Palliative Care Volunteers may provide support to people with dementia. With the way dementia impacts on cognitive function such as difficulty communicating, it can be a challenge to understand how best to provide support.

Dementia Australia is hosting free webinars during September and October that hope to provide insight into different aspects of the disease. The ones that might best help Palliative Care Volunteers cover:

  • Communication – This session looks at the changes in communication that occur for the person with dementia. It provides information of the problems that come about from communication breakdown and offers some suggestions for achieving better communication.
  • Understanding behaviours – This webinar outlines common behaviour changes in a person with dementia, identifies some of the triggers for these behaviours and uses a problem solving approach to find practical ways of responding.

Click here to see the timetable of webinar sessions and to register.

For more information on dementia please go to the Dementia Australia website.

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