Dementia

Dementia in Gippsland

Gippsland PHN is pleased to be supporting StepUp for Dementia Research, a research participation and engagement service designed to connect individuals both with and without dementia, with researchers conducting studies into dementia prevention, diagnosis, treatment, care and cure.

Funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health under the Dementia and Aged Care Services Fund, this platform is the first systematic and inclusive way for dementia researchers to recruit participants in Australia and they are seeking the help of Australians.

At a recent PHN CEO network meeting, Dr Tony Hobbs, Deputy Chief Medical Officer at Commonwealth Department of Health, spoke about dementia, the current research challenges and the impact it has on society.
“Across, the OECD, 19 million men and women are living with dementia. Worldwide, someone develops dementia every three seconds. With no clinical breakthroughs, the number of people with dementia is set to grow and OECD countries are under increasing pressure to address the consequences of dementia”, said Mr Hobbs

In the past five years, strong efforts have been made to put dementia on the national agenda through the development of national dementia plans and strategies. The OECD has identified the progress countries around the globe have made over the past five years and collated their findings in a comprehensive report.

The report identified three areas for improvement.

  1. Dementia has stayed high on the policy agenda, but progress in addressing dementia has not kept up with the scale of the challenge.          
  2. Despite progress in identifying people with dementia, the diagnostic process is still poor and diagnosis rates are too low.
  3. Despite progress in increasing awareness and reducing stigma, poor-quality care persists.

Gippsland PHN’s Chief Executive Officer, Amanda Proposch said Dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, has become the top cause of death for females in parts of Gippsland and the prevalence is projected to increase.

“Despite the prevalence of this disease-causing mortality, morbidity and disability, the amount of research in undertaken into Dementia in comparison to cancer research is one to 13”, said Ms Proposch.

“Having a platform such as StepUp Dementia Research will be extremely valuable to better understanding dementia and finding a cure for this debilitating disease”, she said.

Gippsland PHN will also support GPs with the implementation of a new HealthPathway – Cognitive Impairment and Dementia. Starting Cholinesterase Inhibitors, Memory Assessment and Urgent or Routine Geriatrician Referral.

The StepUp Dementia Research platform is currently being delivered by the University of Sydney and was developed in partnership with the University of Exeter and University College London.

Participants are encouraged to register via https://www.stepupfordementiaresearch.org.au/. For more information, call 1800-STEP-123 (1800-7837-123) or email stepup.research@sydney.edu.au.