Feeling forgetful or confused? Finding out what is wrong is the first step to getting help.
In this section, we offer help sheets on every topic, issue, and concern relating to dementia that you might need support on.
Driving is something most people take for granted. It gives us freedom, flexibility and independence. While we will all need to step out from behind the wheel one day, conditions such as dementia can mean that the decision to stop driving needs to be planned for.
The National Dementia Helpline is for people with dementia, their carers, families and friends, health professionals, service providers, community organisations, students and people seeking information.
Alzheimer's Australia provides a range of sensitive and flexible services to support people with any type of dementia, their families and carers throughout the illness.
Alzheimer's Australia has a wealth of information for health professionals.
Alzheimer's Australia provides courses for people with dementia and their carers, and nationally recognised courses for health and aged care personnel.
Alzheimer’s Australia is committed to contributing towards Australian dementia research.
Your help and support is vital to Alzheimer's Australia. Read more about donations.
Find an event near you.
A dementia-friendly community is a place where people living with dementia are supported to live a high quality of life with meaning, purpose and value. For people with younger onset dementia, this also means being given the opportunity and support to stay at work or volunteer.
Dementia Awareness Month is held annually in September. Stay tuned for an update on Dementia Awareness Month 2015 which will be coming soon.
Losing the ability to communicate can be one of the most frustrating and difficult problems for people with dementia, their families and carers. As the illness progresses, a person with dementia experiences a gradual lessening of their ability to communicate. They find it more and more difficult to express themselves clearly and to understand what others say.
Each person with dementia is unique and difficulties in communicating thoughts and feelings are very individual. There are many causes of dementia, each affecting the brain in different ways.
Some changes you might notice include:
It is important to check that hearing and eyesight are not impaired. Glasses or a hearing aid may help some people. Check that hearing aids are functioning correctly and glasses are cleaned regularly.
Remember, communication is made up of three parts:
These statistics highlight the importance of how families and carers present themselves to a person with dementia. Negative body language such as sighs and raised eyebrows can be easily picked up.
People retain their feelings and emotions even though they may not understand what is being said, so it is important to always maintain their dignity and self-esteem. Be flexible and always allow plenty of time for a response. Where appropriate, use touch to keep the person’s attention and to communicate feelings of warmth and affection.
You may need to use hand gestures and facial expressions to make yourself understood. Pointing or demonstrating can help. Touching and holding their hand may help keep their attention and show that you care. A warm smile and shared laughter can often communicate more than words can.
Adapted from Understanding difficult behaviours, by Anne Robinsons, Beth Spencer and Laurie White.
Christine Bryden (Boden) was diagnosed with dementia at age 46, and has shared a number of her insights about ways that families and friends can help a person with dementia. Christine is also the author of a number of publications, including Who will I be when I die?, the first book written by an Australian with dementia.
More information about dementia is available under Help Sheets & Update Sheets section of our website or to find out more, call the National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500.