Currently there are more than 55 million people with dementia worldwide and this number is expected to increase to almost 1.1 million by 2058.

The prevalence of Alzheimer’s in the greater Sydney region is fast growing. Approximately 65% of people with dementia live within the community.

Did you know Dementia has become the leading cause of death for women in Australia?

Carers are experiencing carer burnout and dealing with community stigma in addition to their roles. Of greater concern therefore is, who cares for the carer?

Dementia is an umbrella term for various types of brain degeneration – whether Fronto-temporal, Vascular, Alzheimer’s or Lewy Bodies type dementia. The commonality is that the brain is dying and eventually the disease will affect all senses and abilities.

Our brains are our engine room so this process will make it increasingly difficult to engage socially and to hold onto the relationships that are important to us, or the way in which we engage in the activities we enjoy.

Understanding dementia is about understanding changes in the way we communicate. Some abilities are lost but others are retained. It is important all persons engaging with people with dementia distil what is retained. To focus on strengths not losses, regardless of gender and age.

What is dementia? Think of dementia as a challenge in communication.

How do you live well with dementia?  Familiarise yourself with Dementia Reframed.

Dr Gaynor Macdonald and Dr Jane Mears are co-authors of Dementia as Social Experience: Valuing Life and Care. Both authors are founders and drivers behind ‘Dementia Reframed’.

Their vision has become a growing global movement as they seek to broaden understanding of those living with dementia and everyone else touched by the disease. Their focus is on caring for the carer and providing information to support carers on their journey.

Experts from across the globe in health and aged care, including those with lived experience, hope to share the latest in dementia research practice and innovation.

Whether you are a health professional, work in allied health, community or someone who wants to know more about dementia, do not miss this opportunity to understand the complexity of dementia.

Register here for the Dementia Centre and HammondCare International Dementia conference, to held on Thursday 8 to Friday 9 September 2022.

As well I encourage you to read Sarah Wallace’s personal story after her husband’s diagnosis of Lewy Body dementia. The book “Behind Closed Doors: One Family’s Journey through the Australian Aged Care System” is an invaluable resource of the most likely outcome in the event of lack of proper care and sustained human rights violation.

It is with deep sadness that our friend and dementia advocate, Dr Gaynor Macdonald passed suddenly from an incurable cancer.  Gaynor asked we keep Dementia Reframed alive. VALE Gaynor.