Hospital turns myth buster - Funding to educate about dementia

Thursday, 5 August 2010
DEBUNKING the myths surrounding one of society’s fastest growing chronic illnesses will be the focus of a new public awareness study. Moyne Health Services will next week distribute a survey to homes in Port Fairy asking people what they know about dementia and its effects.

The survey is a result of $50,000 in funding from the federal government to research the effects of dementia on the community. Nurse unit manager of aged care services at Moyne Health Katharina Redford said cases of dementia were on the rise.

"It is a chronic illness that is become more prevalent in our community so this funding gives us the chance for us to fi nd out what the community knows about it and to be able to inform them more.

"People with dementia can still do things they enjoy and we want to help the people around them learn how to best achieve this." Moyneyana House has eight to 10 dementia beds depending on the demand at the time, with a refurbishment of the dementia unit also to take place as part of the funding. Mrs Redford said the aim of the survey was to fi nd out what people knew and what they would like to know about dementia. She said it was also important to inform people what services were available in Port Fairy and what services may be needed.

The theme of the study is "Living in the Moment" which is a focus on helping families deal with dementia and to encourage people to become dementia carer volunteers. "Living in the Moment is about getting the best quality of life when you can — a person with dementia can still get enjoyment out of life," Mrs Redford said.

"One group we would love to be involved in this is the younger people in the community who may face dementia issues with grandparents. The greater knowledge they have about dementia the greater chance they have to make a positive impact ."

People have until August 23 to fi ll out the dementia survey . Public information sessions on dementia will also take place as part of the study.

Story by Anthony Brady,  The Standard.