A new dementia care app, which provides guidance for family and non-tertiary qualified carers on the behavioural changes associated with dementia, was launched this week at the 9th Annual Dementia Research and Knowledge Translation Forum.
The app covers a range of potential behavioural scenarios that might arise in dementia and strategies to manage them.
Kim Burns, the project coordinator, said formal carers and family members wanted to have information and advice at their fingertips, in language that was clear and easy to understand.
She said the app was developed after extensive consultation with experienced carers and expert clinicians.
Professor Henry Brodaty, project leader and director of the Dementia Collaborative Research Centre for Assessment and Better Care (DCRC:ABC), said there was strong demand from carers for accessible and concise information on behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia, and carers were turning to clinician guides, which were difficult to understand.
“We have had the content proofread by family carers to see that it makes sense to them and that it meets their needs. There was a lot of discussion with family carers in a lot of different groups –across different socio-economic groups and states to make sure we are meeting their needs,” he told Community Care Review at the Sydney launch.
While the app does not replace individual advice from a GP or health professional, it aims to provide a complementary, easy-to-access resource for carers, he said.
More than 90 per cent of people with dementia display some form of behavioural or psychological symptoms during the course of their condition. These symptoms can include aggressive behaviours, agitated behaviours, anxiety, sleep pattern changes and wandering behaviours.
The content of the app is based on information within printed guides produced by the DCRC:ABC, which is based at the University of NSW.
The Care4Dementia App is available via iTunes and Google Play App stores.