Currently, over 400,000 Australians live with dementia and if no medical breakthrough is found, that figure is expected to rise above 1 million people by 2058. So how can we better support our loved ones and members of the community and ensure that they don’t just ‘live’ with dementia, but rather, ‘live well’ with dementia?
The key is to create a change in our mindsets that then transforms into a heartfelt change in the way that we think about, and ultimately care for, people who are living with dementia.
The Virtual Dementia Tour™ (VDT™), which is exclusively delivered by Churches of Christ in Queensland, is scientifically proven to be the closest way that a person with a healthy brain can experience what dementia might be like.
Leading Age Services Australia (LASA) and Sarina Russo Health & Community Services are working closely with the Virtual Dementia Tour™ as it supports not only the age services workforce, but also families, carers and interested stakeholders to gain an improved understanding of the daily experiences of a person living with dementia.
But it’s more than just knowing more about dementia. The real changes occur when that knowledge takes root in our hearts and we care and respond differently because we want to – not because we have to.
This is the essential ingredient that the VDT™ provides to participants. When we walk in the shoes of another, when we feel what they feel, when we experience life through the same lens, then we will be motivated to make a change and improve lives.
By including the VDT™ into their training of Aged Care students, Sarina Russo Health & Community Services will ensure students are educated and develop a deeper level of empathy and understanding to deliver a level of care that is both professional and heartfelt.
So what’s the next step? Join with us in a nationwide movement to break the chains of stigmatisation and clearly make a statement in our communities that an illness does not determine one’s worth.