Aged Care Sponsored Story

What’s your big idea to shape the future of dementia?


We’ve all seen the headlines. Dementia is now the biggest disease burden in older Australians.

Dementia is the leading cause of death for Australian women and the second-leading overall. The number of Australians with dementia will almost double by 2050.

More and more people with complex needs will need care, are we ready to support them?  

As a sector, we understand the need to prepare for what’s coming. We know we need to do better. 

I truly believe we are all motivated by the same desire: to provide better care for people living with dementia – clients, residents or patients. 

So, what do we need to do? 

This is where you come in. 

If you work in the care of people living with dementia, we want to hear from you. 

We’re calling for papers for the International Dementia Conference 2024, taking place on 5-6 September 2024 at the Hilton, Sydney. 

We’re looking for ideas from people living with dementia and healthcare practitioners caring for them as well as scientific, clinical and psychosocial researchers. 

We want to know how you shape and change the sector. We want you to challenge our delegates to think outside the box, and share your stories of success and opportunity.  

Because you can’t be part of the solution if you don’t share what you do. 

We’ve suggested some themes for inspiration, but you can submit a paper on any topic you like.  

One of our themes is a topic dear to my heart – the changing face of residential care. 

I recall (not fondly) ‘nursing homes’ of days gone by with long, institutional corridors, and aged care as a rite of passage for the ageing.  

Now, we all want to stay at home longer (that’s another theme!).  

Residential care has had to change – some of that change has been thrust upon us, and some of that change has unintended consequences. Much of it has challenged the sector, and perhaps made the sector more risk-averse than ever!  

But I know you have stories about how you overcame this to deliver true relationship-centred care, because I see every day great examples of care, of staff who know the people they serve, of true partnering in care.  

Here are a few more themes we’ve suggested: 

Designing to care 

  • what needs to happen when you refurbish? 
  • what do we mean when we talk about ‘community’ or ‘village’? 
  • is the cottage model the only way? 

Diversity and inclusivity 

  • how do we support sexuality, gender diversity and new relationships? 
  • what do culturally and linguistically diverse approaches to care look like? 

Relationship-based care – are we there yet? 

  • what does it mean in practice? 
  • beyond regulations and pandemics, what have we learned? 

Take the next step 

Before you submit, you’ll need: 

  • A presentation title
  • An abstract of 200 words
  • An individual photograph of all presenters
  • Details for any affiliations and co-authors and presenters
  • A two-minute video discussing your abstract

Whether you’ve done some research, developed a program, refined a care approach, or have a unique perspective, we want to hear from you.  

Call for papers closes on 15 March 2024. Submit yours today. 

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With a background in social work, advocacy and leadership, Marie has a strong commitment to social justice and consumer engagement. Having worked in behaviour support programs for over 20 years, since the early Commonwealth initiatives, she is the strategic lead for Dementia Support Australia, a HammondCare-led service delivering national dementia support programs.

She is a member of the Department of Health and Aged Care Expert Advisory Group. Specific areas of expertise are behaviour support and complex dementia, sports-related brain injury and supporting people living with dementia from diverse life experiences and backgrounds.

Prior to joining HammondCare, she was the Director of the South Australian and Northern Territory Dementia Training Study Centre, and General Manager of Alzheimer's Australia South Australia.

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