Home' Intouch : In Touch Summer 2014 Contents In touch SUMMER 2014 3
As we wind down to
the end of the year, we
have a chance to reflect on
past achievements and to
look to some of the new
opportunities that lie ahead.
Month was one such
a number of activities
occurred across NSW. This year’s theme, Creating
a Dementia-Friendly Nation, highlighted steps
we can all take to ensure our communities are
dementia-aware, safe, tolerant and inclusive places
for people with dementia to live.
It is also important to include the wishes and
feedback from members of the community
who are living with dementia in their dementia-
friendly initiatives. The Guide to Becoming
a Dementia-Friendly Community, launched
during Dementia Awareness Month, and
developed by AlzNSW with the help of the Port
Macquarie community, is a good example of
how collaboration between community leaders
and groups and people living with dementia can
achieve meaningful change. AlzNSW is fortunate
to have the support of Member for Port
Macquarie Leslie Williams MP on this project.
Read more about this on page 10.
Thousands took part in the four Memory Walk
& Jog events held in NSW this year. Each of these
events was a colourful display as people bonded
through shared experiences and walked in memory
and support of loved ones. Our Memory Walk &
Jog events raised more than $300,000 this year,
which will be a real boost to AlzNSW and will be
used to fund many services across the state.
It is exciting to be able to welcome His
Excellency General The Honourable David
Hurley AC DSC (Ret’d), Governor of New
South Wales, to the role of AlzNSW Patron.
His Excellency has accepted the role following
the retirement of Professor Marie Bashir AC,
CVO from office in October.
A most distinguished Patron, Professor Bashir
supported AlzNSW for a number of years
attending several key AlzNSW events including
the opening of the Hunter Dementia and
Memory Resource Centre in 2008 and the 30th
anniversary celebrations at Government House
in 2012. AlzNSW would like to thank Professor
Bashir and welcomes His Excellency to the role
of AlzNSW Patron.
And finally, congratulations to Merv Gillies, one
of our members from the Mid-North Coast, who
was the recipient of a Highly Commended Award
in the 2014 NSW Carers Awards. Merv contributes
much to our organisation in a variety of ways and
we think this is well-deserved recognition.
From everyone at AlzNSW we hope you have
an enjoyable holiday period, and we will bring
you more news and exciting developments in
upcoming editions of In Touch.
the hon. John Watkins, cEo, AlznSW
Dementia is one of the most challenging
conditions that the medical profession and the
aged care community face. Many people living
with dementia will experience behavioural and
psychological symptoms during the course of
their illness and may even develop behaviours
that place themselves and others at risk.
This can be a challenging situation for both
people living with dementia and carers. As a
result, antipsychotic medications are frequently
used to reduce the impact of such symptoms.
However, there is growing concern from healthcare professionals and
the broader community that antipsychotics are being overprescribed.
The challenge for healthcare professionals is to identify situations
where antipsychotics can be reduced or deprescribed, and to look for
alternative solutions for managing symptoms.
Families and care staff face a myriad of challenges in dealing with
daily care and safety issues. Managing antipsychotic medication for
people with behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia
is a collaborative effort. Successful deprescription requires close
consultation between the patient’s doctor, pharmacist, aged care
staff as well as the patient and their family, and can play a vital role in
improving the lives of those living with dementia.
In response to this issue, Alzheimer’s Australia NSW (AlzNSW),
in conjunction with Southern Cross Care NSW/ACT, the Dementia
Collaborative Research Centre and AMA (NSW), has developed a
training video. Its purpose is to support GPs, nurse practitioners and
other healthcare professionals identify people living with dementia,
either in the community or in a care home, for whom an antipsychotic is
no longer an appropriate prescription.
On 8 October, AlzNSW launched a new video resource, Antipsychotics
& Dementia – Managing Medications for Behavioural and Psychological
Symptoms of Dementia, at Parliament House in NSW.
Alzheimer’s Australia has been vocal for some time about the issue
of the overuse of antipsychotic medications. We stand for the rights of
people living with dementia and their carers. It is our duty to speak up
for those living with dementia.
We believe this new video resource helps to advise and educate,
to raise awareness in a positive, productive way and to use the latest
evidence to inform best practice.
The video has now been added to our Dementia Daily website and
Alzheimer’s Australia’s YouTube Channel – we invite you to watch it.
Copies of the DVD are also available from AlzNSW. Please contact
AlzNSW reception on (02) 9805 0100.
Jerry Ellis Ao, chair AlznSW
1/12/14 1:48 PM
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