What is good for the body is good for the brain.
That’s the message from Bolton Clarke Research Institute Senior Research Fellow Dr Claudia Meyer in advance of Dementia Awareness Month in September.
Dr Meyer said it was important to change the conversation around a diagnosis of dementia.
“It doesn’t mean people have changed – people with dementia are still active members of families and communities,” she said.
“A lot of people don’t get a diagnosis because they fear their life will be irrevocably changed, but the earlier the diagnosis the better the opportunity to access services and support independence and wellbeing.”
Dr Meyer said exercise, eating well and staying mentally active were all important to reducing risk and living well with dementia.
Bolton Clarke Research Institute projects supporting better outcomes for people with dementia include:
- The Enabling Choices conversation tool, an evidence-informed conversation tool to help people with dementia negotiate risk around everyday activities including driving
- Weaving Evidence into Action for Veterans with Dementia, a series of co-designed interventions for veterans with dementia living in residential aged care. Interventions include reminiscence therapy, therapeutic music, sensory modulation and structure exercise. Families, carers and residents have reported concrete impacts that have contributed to better wellbeing outcomes.
- Working with Flinders Caring Futures Institute, the Partnership in iSupport Program links carers with virtual support groups, online resources and a link worker to help access support.