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Dementia care

The discipline has several research projects focused on dementia care which are funded through the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Partnership Centre: Dealing with Cognitive and Related Functional Decline in Older People.

Currently there are more than 353,800 Australians with dementia and this figure is expected to increase to almost 900,000 by 2050. More than 1.2 million Australians are involved in their care and the cost of dementia on the health and aged care systems in calculated to be at least $4.9 billion per annum.


Key projects

Clinical guidelines

Professor Maria Crotty, Associate Professor Craig Whitehead and Dr Kate Laver have led the development of the first national clinical guidelines (PDF 866KB) for people with dementia in Australia. These guidelines will provide health and aged care staff in community, residential care and hospital settings with access to recommendations reflecting current evidence on dementia care (PDF 120KB) to better respond to the needs and preferences of the person living with dementia.

Recent Publications:

An overview of systematic reviews of pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions for the treatment of behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia
Dyer S, Harrison S, Laver K, Whitehead C, Crotty M. (2017) International Psychgeriatrics pp 1-15 (published online 16 November 2017). 

Translating evidence based programs

Professor Maria Crotty and Dr Kate Laver are also collaborating with researchers from the University of Sydney and the United States to translate evidence based programs for the person with dementia and their caregivers into the Australian context. This translational research project will involve sites within South Australia and New South Wales.


Digital delivery of programs to delay functional decline

Dr Kate Laver is an NHMRC-ARC Dementia Research Development Fellow who is undertaking a project to examine telehealth (feasibility and efficacy) to deliver programs for people with dementia and their caregivers with the aim of delaying functional decline.