A funding boost for the Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre in Tasmania will help to increase dementia literacy amongst people caring for those with the disease.

A $3.7 million grant from the JO and JR Wicking Trust for the Centre, which is part of UTAS’s College of Health and Medicine, will be used to increase the reach of its online courses which are accessible to people around the world.

 

Centre director Professor James Vickers said the standard of care in homes, hospitals and residential facilities increased if health professionals and family members were more knowledgeable about dementia.

 

“With about 46.8 million people with dementia globally and a rapidly ageing world population, dementia is set to escalate in prevalence, becoming a leading cause of death through this century and a major focus of health and social care,” he said.

“Education will be crucial in caring for people with dementia so the Wicking Centre is taking on the challenge of reaching 400,000 Australians and a further one million people through its online education over the next five years.”

The Wicking Centre was established in 2008 through joint funding from the Trust and the University of Tasmania, aimed at improving quality of life for people with dementia and their carers.

The Centre offers courses in Understanding Dementia and Preventing Dementia, and also offers a Bachelor degree in Dementia Care.

The Centre is also taking a lead in dementia research with a number of current projects in the areas of care redesign, dementia trajectory and neuroscience.