Dementia Support Australia (DSA) is launching a national campaign aimed at raising awareness about available support for people living with dementia and experiencing behavioural symptoms.
The campaign, titled “Dementia affects us all,” focuses on individuals with dementia being cared for in their own homes. With dementia becoming the leading cause of disease burden for older Australians, the campaign aims to provide carers with information about services and assistance.
The emotive television commercial, created in collaboration with Mindjam, depicts the progression of dementia-related behaviours in a husband and wife’s home and highlights the role of adult children in seeking support. The commercial aims to convey the stress and challenges that carers face when dealing with behavioural symptoms of dementia. By showing the impact on the family and emphasising the need for help, the campaign hopes to encourage carers to reach out for support. The TV Commercial can be viewed below.
DSA, funded by the Australian Government and led by HammondCare, offers relationship-based case management to improve the quality of life for those experiencing behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD). The free service has seen a significant increase in referrals, with over 18,000 cases in 2022. Referrals continue to climb this year, indicating the growing demand for support.
In a statement, Marie Alford, Head of Dementia Professional Services at DSA, stated that up to 90 per cent of people living with dementia will experience BPSD at some point in their journey with the illness.
The campaign aims to provide carers with the knowledge that help is available and to encourage proactive engagement with DSA to manage behavioural changes. By seeking support, carers can reduce the risk of premature entry into hospital or residential aged care.
Alongside the campaign, Professor Sue Kurrle, a geriatrician and Senior Research Fellow at The Dementia Centre, presents a series of online video resources. These resources offer advice for carers faced with different behavioural and psychological changes, providing practical guidance and support.
An Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report released in February estimated that there were up to 354,200 unpaid carers supporting people living with dementia last year. Many of these carers, who are predominantly women, often find themselves stressed and overwhelmed. The campaign aims to alleviate some of the burdens on carers by making them aware of the available support and assistance provided by DSA.