13.8 C
Byron Shire
May 25, 2024

Professor Graham Samuel says dementia care is personal

Latest News

Surfing on the spectrum – free fun for everyone at Lennox and Byron this Sunday

Ocean Heroes will be giving children who are on the autism spectrum the chance to experience what it is like to be in the ocean on a surfboard this Saturday at Lennox Head and Sunday in Byron Bay.

Other News

Housing: too important to leave to private market

It saddens me every time I get to the back of The Echo and see all the real estate...

The Fall Guy

Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt are being silly in a film take of the ‘80s television series: The Fall Guy. He’s a stuntman, and like everyone in the stunt community, he gets blown up, shot, crashed, thrown through windows and dropped from the highest of heights, all for our entertainment. And now, fresh off an almost career-ending accident, this working-class hero has to track down a missing movie star, solve a conspiracy, and try to win back the love of his life while still doing his day job. What could possibly go right?

Northern Rivers will host the 2025 and 2027 NSW Bowls Championships

Ballina is set to host the 2025 and 2027 State Bowls Championships that will see over 900 competitors vying...

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Why are we so blasé about violent pornography?

Why is it a turn on to hurt us? Recent intersectional studies have shown that online misogyny and violent pornography are contributors to a sharp rise in domestic violence. In NSW alone, police attend 500 incidents every day. If there were 500 threats or incidents at banks, or to the government, we would be in a state of emergency. Instead we stop, shake our heads, we listen to good men in government speak empty words, make a few promises, and move on. If you’ve ever lived through violence, it’s pretty well what your abuser does after hitting you.

Contraband, Chile’s 9/11 and black ops 

Putting the life of local adventurer Chris Dewhirst into print would be no easy task. But he’s managed to do it, in part, with Everest Guns & Money.

Wombat burrows provide critical shelter for other species

A new study, published in the Journal of Mammalogy, found wombat burrows help other animals by providing critical shelter for numerous species following severe wildfire, and may even be an important source of water.

Professor Graham Samuel AC addresses the National Press Club. Photo supplied.

In a moving address to the National Press Club in Canberra yesterday, Dementia Australia Chair Professor Graham Samuel AC shared his personal experience of dementia – the anguish, bewilderment, frustration and torment experienced by his mother as she descended into the abyss of the disease.

Professor Samuel’s speech was titled ‘Dementia is not about them – it is about you and me’.

He spoke about the transformation of his mother, after his father’s death, from a powerful matriarch to a woman unable to do many things, and her subsequent fifteen years of ‘torment’.

Beyond his own family’s story, Professor Samuel commented upon the disgraceful treatment of the general Australian aged population, particularly in residential aged care homes exposed by the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety’s Final Report: Care, Dignity and Respect.

Roadmap for the future

Professor Samuel called on the federal government to commit to making a difference to the experience of Australians impacted by dementia, and presented Dementia Australia’s plan for the future, which he described as ‘a roadmap for quality dementia care – achievable, sustainable and transformational – and absolutely essential.

‘Based on current statistics, it seems inevitable that every single family in this country will at some stage experience the torment and distress of a loved one being overtaken by dementia,’ said Professor Samuel.

‘With around 70 per cent of Australians living in residential aged care having some form of cognitive impairment, their families face enormous difficulties in providing support for relatives struggling with the memory loss and behavioural changes that accompany the disease.’

Professor Samuel noted that dementia is one of the largest health and social challenges facing Australia and the world, and also one of the least recognised or understood.

‘In economic terms alone, dementia costs the economy more than $6 billion in healthcare and loss of productivity every year,’ said Professor Samuel.

‘There needs to be continued focus on three priorities: research, dementia friendly communities and quality of care.’

Global collaboration needed

‘That’s why Dementia Australia is working closely with government and major philanthropists to bring about genuine global collaboration amongst researchers and clinicians in this area, to ensure that scarce research funds are applied to their most productive uses,’ said Professor Samuel.

Dementia can be a lonely and confusing road. Photo David Lowe.

‘We need to set up systems to ensure timely access to diagnosis, and a direct and clear pathway to early and ongoing supports and treatment services,’ he said.

‘We must train our workers and develop and embed a set of robust, evidence based and practice informed dementia friendly design standards.

‘The government has a responsibility to let every Australian impacted by dementia know that support for them to remain in their home is available and appropriate, and if they move into residential aged care that they will receive the care, dignity and respect they deserve.

‘I call on every member of parliament to remember this is not only about people currently impacted by dementia – it is also about what the future holds for all of us,’ concluded Professor Samuel.


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

1 COMMENT

  1. Dementia & Alzheimer’s needs to be understood & supported by caring communities.
    I have been dealing with the challenge & it is more than a little disturbing.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Wardell landowners asked to support fire ant eradication

Nearly 900 Wardell properties require treatment for fire ants, but the eradication team needs permission from each landowner.

The Darling Muffs of May need your help to reach fundraising target

Raising money to support frontline services for women who are homeless or at risk of homelessness has been the driving force behind the Darling Muffs of May’s fundraising this year.

Why does Iron Gates developer get another bite at the DA?

Locals, concerned residents and other parties were left in the dark for the first 15 minutes of the Iron Gates (Goldcoral Pty Ltd) Land...

Death and Dying expo May 25

On Saturday May 25, a free Death and Dying expo will be held at the Mullumbimby Civic Hall from 10am-2pm.