A consumer-accessible version of Australia’s first clinical guidelines on dementia has been launched at Parliament House on Wednesday.

The resource, Diagnosis, treatment and care for people with dementia: A consumer companion guide, complements the clinical practice guidelines for health professionals that were released by the Minister for Health and Aged Care Sussan Ley in March.consumer-companion-guide-page-001

The consumer resource uses accessible language to provide practical guidance about the important aspects of the clinical practice guidelines and supports people with dementia and their carers to be informed when receiving care and treatment.

The consumer guide was developed by people living with dementia, carers, researchers and clinicians from the Cognitive Decline Partnership Centre and aims to be accessible to all consumers, regardless of their level of health literacy.

The resource covers topics such as timely diagnosis, advance care planning, managing symptoms and end-of-life care. It also includes information on the ten principles of dignity of care which underpin the guidelines. They are:

  1. Zero tolerance of all forms of abuse
  2. Support people with the respect you would want for yourself or a family member
  3. Treat each person as an individual by offering a personalised service
  4. Enable people to maintain the maximum possible level of independence, choice and control
  5. Listen and support people to express their needs and wants
  6. Respect people’s privacy
  7. Ensure people feel able to complain without fear of retribution
  8. Engage with family members and carers as care partners
  9. Assist people to maintain confidence and positive self-esteem
  10. Act to alleviate people’s loneliness and isolation.

Alzheimer’s Australia national president Professor Graeme Samuel said the guidelines were an example of the significant impact that can be achieved when consumers partnered with clinicians and researchers.

Access the Consumer Companion Guide here.

Read more about the clinical practice guidelines for health and aged care staff here.

To subscribe to CCR please visit http://www.australianageingagenda.com.au/subscribe-to-ccr/

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