The National Ageing Research Institute (NARI) will today launch a new video resource, Finding My Way: Sharing tips on supporting people living with dementia, aimed at sharing the experiences of family carers for people living with dementia, including the challenging, positive, and rewarding aspects of caring.
The online launch of Finding My Way: Sharing tips on supporting people living with dementia will be held via Zoom today, Wednesday 28 September, at 1 pm AEST. To attend, register here.
Developed as part of the ‘Creative Caring’ study, the Finding My Way video was co-designed with family carers, through the guidance of a project advisory group, to portray the many facets of being a carer and challenge the negative stereotypes that surround the responsibility.
Dementia impacts over 400,000 Australians, and approximately 65 per cent of people with dementia live at home – either independently or with the support of a carer.
Head of the ‘Creative Caring’ project, NARI Associate Professor Kirsten Moore, said the short film documents how varied the carer journey can be, as well as the strength, resilience, and compassion of those who give their time to support people living with dementia.
“Many individuals assume the role of carer unexpectedly when a loved one’s condition worsens. And whilst there is no instruction manual for being a carer, this video is able to offer words of advice and encouragement for those who are taking on this role,” Associate Professor Moore said.
The video aims to provide insight into the experience of caring, whilst countering many of the overly negative portrayals and assumptions of the dementia caring experience.
“Carers can feel isolated in this role, so we wanted to highlight that there is no one way of caring, nor is there any single experience of dementia,” Associate Professor Moore said.
“Many of the participants spoke to a feeling of judgement from friends or family who didn’t understand the experience of caring for someone with dementia. It’s important for those of us on the outside to offer our support without judgement or assumption.”
Whilst this video was made with and for family carers, it is also crucial for those who do not have experience with caring to reframe the stigmas, and offer a greater understanding of the compassion and generosity of the many Australians who take on this role.
“What a brilliant resource this will be for anyone who is starting, or travelling, along the carer journey, as well as being a magnificent means of showing those who are not on that journey its challenges and its joys. This timeless resource will be one of both reassurance and information for so many,” Finding My Way carer advisor Cathy Roth OAM said.
Ten family carers (8 current; 2 bereaved) aged between 50 and 80 years old, who had cared for a person living with dementia participated by sharing their own stories and insights.