A NATIONAL campaign featuring a hard-hitting television commercial was launched this month to increase awareness about help available for people living with dementia experiencing symptoms including aggression, irritability, agitation, vocalisations, and delusions.
The “Dementia affects us all” campaign by Dementia Support Australia (DSA) has a special focus on the growing number of people living with dementia being cared for in their own homes.
Figures released earlier this year by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare show dementia is now the leading cause of disease burden for older Australians. About 70 per cent of people with the disease live at home, not residential aged care, and carers are unlikely to be aware of the services available.
The emotive television commercial created and produced in collaboration with Mindjam illustrates behaviours and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) through the story of a husband and wife who are living through the progression of the wife’s behaviours in their home and the stress it causes both before seeking help.
It also weaves in the role of the daughter, illustrating the important that adult children often play in reaching for support.
DSA, funded by the Australian Government and led by HammondCare, aims to improve the quality of life of people living with dementia who are experiencing BPSD through relationship-based case management.
The free service is dealing with a soaring number of referrals, with the 8108 cases in 2018 more than doubling to 18,091 in 2022.
Referrals are also climbing again this year. The service has 300 trained consultants nationally available 24 hours a day. The helpline can be contacted on 1800 699 799.