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Intouch : In Touch Summer 2013
IN TOUCH SUMMER 2013 3 As usual, it has been a busy few months. Recently we were delighted to launch a series of videos that capture the ten most-asked questions on our Helpline and feature several members who have graciously shared their experiences of dementia. Called Yo u'r e not Alone: Discussing Dementia, the series also features expert commentary from some of our staff and honorary medical advisor Professor Henry Brodaty. The aim of the series is to let others going through the dementia journey know that they are not alone, and there is help available. In September, we celebrated the launch of Is it Dementia? at Central Station with the NSW Minister for Transport, The Hon. Gladys Berejiklian MP. This new training resource has been designed for taxi drivers, bus, rail and ferry frontline staff, as well as other industry sectors. This is a great step forward for people living with dementia in NSW. I congratulate and thank Minister Berejiklian and the NSW Taxi Council, which worked with Alzheimer's Australia to embed the training resource into their induction and training programs for new staff. We hope it will pave the way for other service-based organisations to do the same. You can read more about Is it Dementia? on page 8. We have once again seen a busy and successful Dementia Awareness Week with numerous activities and events held across NSW. From a dementia awareness- raising motorcycle ride through Central NSW to information stalls in Bega, community memory walks, seminars and memory van visits, the brain health message was spread far and wide. It was pleasing to see Tweed Shire Council Mayor Barry Longland sign up for the 21-Day Challenge. Congratulations Cr Longland on committing to improving his brain health. Throughout the year we have had a number of courageous and generous people share their experiences living with dementia or caring for someone with dementia. We appreciate and thank each of them for sharing their stories to empower, inspire and help others. Their honesty goes a long way towards breaking down barriers, eliminating stigma, raising awareness and supporting others. As the year draws to a close it is time to think about the things in life that matter. I do hope you are able to spend some time with loved ones over the holiday break. At AlzNSW, we are looking forward to an exciting new year ahead. The Hon. John Watkins, CEO, AlzNSW The election of the Coalition Government has resulted in a new structure of Ministerial responsibility for the Health and Ageing portfolios. The Hon. Peter Dutton MP is the new Minister for Health and The Hon. Kevin Andrews MP is Minister for Social Services. A dedicated Ageing Minister, replaced by an Assistant Minister for Social Services (Senator Mitch Fifeld) is responsible for the development of the National Disability Insurance Scheme and Aged Care. We will remain vigilant that our Fight Dementia campaign stays front-of-mind for the new team. Over the next few weeks we will be hosting visits to our North Ryde centre by the NSW Minister for Ageing and Disability, The Hon. John Ajaka MLC and the NSW Minister for Health The Hon. Jillian Skinner MP, both of whom have made clear their interest in dementia and our organisation. Even though responsibility for most issues for over-65s belong with the Commonwealth, the fact that there are approximately 24,000 people living with Younger Onset Dementia means the NSW Government is still very much involved in dementia care. Also, as many people living with dementia spend time in hospitals -- the direct responsibility of the NSW Government -- the opportunity to lobby these Ministers is welcomed. The AlzNSW Board has just undertaken a self-review of its performance and I am pleased to report the results were positive. It was clear our board is made up of committed individuals who bring a range of skills to their responsibilities. It is a privilege to work with this inspiring group of people. We know that there are a great deal of committed, professional and talented staff in the aged care workforce. However, we know that more needs to be done to improve wages, training and resources. Experience also shows that increased levels of interpersonal contact with residents with dementia leads to more caring moments, and improved feelings of respect and dignity. AlzNSW continues to work closely with care providers across the spectrum to ensure the best training and educational practices are available to their staff. We want to see outstanding, person-centred care practices as the norm. Over the past months I've seen wonderful examples of dedication across AlzNSW. Dementia Awareness Week attracted record levels of media attention with extensive state-wide campaigns. The fow-on effect of this activity impacts every level of our services, from the Helpline to education and carer support. I would like to single out one event I was fortunate to attend; a free public education forum in Cabramatta for the Cambodian community. AlzNSW is fortunate to have a dedicated Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CaLD) Project Offcer, Michelle Basic, who, with the aid of an interpreter, captivated the audience. At this time I was also introduced to Vandita Nijhawan, one of our Dementia Counsellors, who is working to improve access to support and services to people living with dementia in South Western Sydney. Congratulations to Michelle and the entire team at AlzNSW, who continue to demonstrate empathy and cultural sensitivity in dealings with the community. Jerry Ellis AO, Chair AlzNSW NEW RESOURCES CEO'S MESSAGE CHAIR'S MESSAGE A BRIGHT OUTLOOK
In Touch Winter 2013
In Touch Autumn 2014