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Reflecting on Dementia Action Week 18 to 24 September

Reflecting on Dementia Action Week 18 to 24 September

September 20, 2023

Our Team Leader, Sally Kennedy has shared some of her knowledge of and experience with supporting people with Dementia.

Did you know that Dementia is not a part of the normal ageing process and can affect people as young as 30? 

In 2012, Dementia was listed as a public health priority in Australia. The WHO (World Health Organisation) predicts that approximately 50 million people worldwide live with Dementia, which is growing by 10 million annually. That is roughly one person being diagnosed every 3 seconds. Dementia Awareness Week 2023 seeks to promote a dementia-friendly Australia.

So, what is Dementia if it is not part of the normal ageing process? Dementia is a term used to describe a range of symptoms for neurological diseases and conditions. Diseases under the umbrella of Dementia are degenerative and progressive with no current cure. Alzheimer's is the most common, with many people probably having heard of it. What is not so common is younger onset Dementia. Younger onset Dementia is a diagnosis of Dementia before the age of 65.

Those diagnosed with younger onset Dementia are not at retirement age, yet they can live in residential aged care units with significantly older peers. This is not a suitable option for young people living with a disability.

My Ability Pathway provides Supported Independent Living (SIL) services for NDIS participants with younger onset dementia. The clients we work with can be involved in developing person-centred plans and can choose how to maintain connection to community, family & friends, and activities of interest using NDIS funding. The comfort of a home environment, in suitable, robust accommodation, is an essential part of dignity and choice for the person with Dementia. Understanding the spectrum of Dementia and how we can provide opportunities for our clients to live meaningful and enriched lives is well understood by our team of skilled support workers.

 

 By Sally Kennedy, Team Leader

 

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