National Quality Dementia Care Initiative funds 6 new research programs

Ita Buttrose, National President of Alzheimer's Australia,has announced 6 innovative research projects that turn existing dementia research into quality dementia care. The projects, funded by The National Quality Dementia Care Initiative, ensure important research findings are influencing mainstream healthcare and medical practices now, rather than taking the average 17 years to make a difference.

"The Initiative is a key step in building evidence-based dementia care services and raising awareness of the disease," Ms Buttrose said. "People with dementia and family carers have chosen research projects they feel will make the biggest difference to the quality of life of the 280,000 Australians living with dementia and their 1.2 million carers".

The Initiative was established by Alzheimer's Australia with a $2.2 million grant from the J.O & J.R Wicking Trust, and $810,000 from Bupa Care Services. The Consumer Dementia Research Network (the Network), made up of 4 people with dementia and 21 family carers from around Australia, drive the Initiative's priority areas for the projects.

Since 2011, the program has awarded over $2 million to 8 projects, including; improving assessment and diagnosis of dementia; better support for carers; increasing access to advance care plans; and, improving palliative care services to help people with dementia to die with dignity.

The 6 latest programs to be funded are :

1. Person-centred dementia support in the community, Dr David Sykes (Alzheimer's Australia Vic) & Dr Chris Hatherly (Alzheimer's Australia National Office)
2. Integrated care framework for advanced dementia, A/Prof Meera Agar Hammond Care (collaborating with Alzheimer's Australia NSW)
3. Advance care planning for people with dementia, Dr Chris Shanley, Liverpool Hospital, NSW (collaborating with Alzheimer's Australia NSW)
4. Heart Foundation Walking for the Mind, Michelle Wilson, Heart Foundation (collaborating with Alzheimer's Australia SA)
5. Development of an evidence-based on-line resource package to improve staff-family relationships for people with dementia living in residential aged care, Dr Michael Bauer, Australian Centre for Evidence Based Aged Care (collaborating with Alzheimer's Australia Vic, Alzheimer's Australia Qld & Alzheimer's Australia Tas)
6. Improving outcomes for a timely diagnosis and management of dementia in General Practice, Dr Allan Shell, Dementia Collaborative Research Centre - Assessment and Better Care (collaborating with Alzheimer's Australia NSW)

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