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  Edition 7      May 2017
Welcome to this edition of NHMRC CDPC News

Hi everyone,

Welcome to our first Newsletter for 2017. It has been a busy and productive start to the year and this newsletter highlights some of our achievements.

There were a number of posters presented at the recent Alzheimer’s Disease International Conference in Kyoto, Japan ranging from robots to support of staff in residential care, there were also oral presentations with Jane Thompson presenting our Consumer Companion Guide for the National Dementia Guidelines. It was a good opportunity for us to spread the word about our work beyond Australia.

We have also been involved in workshops locally with our sister Partnership Centre TAPPC, and in a University of Sydney interdisciplinary workshop on Reframing Dementia. Both are highlighted here.

Most of you will be hearing from our Evaluation Team in the next couple of months, as we pull together information on how the CDPC is meeting the objectives that we set for ourselves. It would be great if people could spend a bit of time on the survey as it provides us with useful information on how we are going and on how we can improve the way we work.


Latest News

CDPC research highlighted at international forum

Alzheimer’s Disease International’s push for a Global Plan of Action on Dementia by the World Health Organisation will be realised with likely adoption later this month, attendees at the recent International Conference of ADI in Kyoto, Japan were told.

The plan will provide a worldwide framework for action, and targeted spending by governments and organisations improving the lives of people with dementia globally.

With a theme of “Together towards a new era” the conference focused on the global community, as well as local communities, to work on a shared vision to achieve dementia-friendly communities, reduce stigma, appropriate language use and ensure all people have the opportunity to live well with dementia.

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CDPC Making Change

Launch of new resources to help people plan ahead

Accessible and user friendly resources have been developed by our Advance Care Planning (ACP) project team to assist community, aged and health care staff highlight the importance of planning ahead for people in their care, particularly those in the early stages of dementia.
Launched by palliative care physician and project lead Professor Meera Agar at The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre in Adelaide on April 6 2017, the resources help health and aged care professionals engage with people who have dementia about the issue of planning ahead and also how to implement ACP across their organisation.

“Our research included interviews with over 80 people with experience in advance care planning in a variety of community, aged and health care settings from across Australia. The resources have also been developed and trialled with a number of organisations”, Professor Agar explained.

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How to better care for residents and engage staff members

The first comprehensive guide for implementing an interprofessional education (IPE) program for students and staff in aged care organisations has been developed by CDPC funding partners Brightwater Care Group and Helping Hand Aged Care.

The free online Interprofessional Education in Aged Care Toolkit (IPEAC), funded through the CDPC, provides aged care managers and administrators accessible resources to facilitate interprofessional student placements and support IPE programs within their organisation.

Interprofessional education is a site based program where aged care professionals learn from and about each other in order to improve collaboration and quality of resident care.

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Activities in Action

Innovative technologies helping people with dementia

A CDPC funded project being carried out at Brightwater Aged Care and supported by University of Western Australia is examining the use of a socialisation robot to enhance the wellbeing of people living with dementia.

Results recently represented at Alzheimer’s Disease International Conference in Kyoto are encouraging showing that both residents and staff appear to be more engaged when Alice is incorporated into group activities.

The Zorabot, named Alice, has been part of the Brightwater community for over 12 months. Alice is an interactive, humanoid, socialization robot, and is controlled by staff members.

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Knowledge Sharing

Partnership Centres explore ways to improve the use of evidence in policy and practice

The NHMRC’s three Partnership Centres, The Cognitive Decline Partnership Centre, the Australian Prevention Partnership Centre, and the new Partnership Centre for Health System Sustainability have a unique opportunity to contribute to the science behind increasing the uptake of evidence in policy and practice, attendees at a March 2017 workshop were told
The workshop brought together representatives from the three Partnership Centres along with international experts to discuss practical ways to encourage the use of evidence in policy. Dr Bev Holmes, Acting President and CEO of the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research in Canada, told the workshop that while there was a body of scientific literature around ‘knowledge mobilisation’, few organisations could draw on their practical experiences in the same way as Partnership Centres.

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The Social Reframing of Dementia: A Timely Conversation

An interdisciplinary workshop held in March 2017, Reframing Dementia as Social and Cultural Experience, looked at reframing the negativities surrounding the ‘dementia habitus’ and bring to it value, life, laughter and relationship.

Organised by Dr Gaynor Macdonald, Department of Anthropology, in collaboration with Associate Professor Jane Mears, Social Policy, Western Sydney University, and the CDPC, the workshop brought together academics across different disciplines, representatives from leading aged care organisations, experienced nurses, as well as people living with dementia and their carers.

This diversity made for rich discussion around an experience that is overwhelmingly framed in biomedical terms, often leaving the complex social and relational challenges of dementia unaddressed.

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The Consumer Voice

The importance of Occupational Therapists and persons with dementia.

As a single male person diagnosed with dementia about ten years ago I was quite unaware of the importance  of Occupational Therapists and their input in making life easier and safer for persons with dementia.

After diagnosis I carried on as usual without their assistance thinking I was ten foot tall and bullet proof. In a short time I moved into new accommodations and it was then that I was sent an OT to assess my living situation.

I must say, some years prior to this occurring I had worked in senior management in a company providing rehabilitation equipment to many individuals and facilities in Victoria and NSW. It was during this time that I had much contact with OT’s, but very little association with persons with dementia.

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CDPC Update

CDPC Evaluation – what to expect in 2017

The CDPC Evaluation team is looking forward to the next round of data collection, which will begin in May 2017. Here is a snapshot of what it will mean for you, as a CDPC network member.

Why are we doing this?

The CDPC internal Evaluation is an important component of the overall CDPC structure. The purpose of the Evaluation is to determine the extent to which the CDPC is meeting its objectives and achieving its stated goals. The data collected for the Evaluation provides valuable information and an opportunity for ongoing improvement of the CDPC.

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CDPC Directorate/Operations Update

The CDPC Directorate team have been very busy in the first few months of 2017. One of our priorities at this time each year is pulling together the data required for completion of our Annual Report to the NHMRC. For this report we have to provide specific data to show that we are meeting our expected NHRMC objectives in facilitating Implementation of Research-Informed Change, Synthesis and Dissemination of Existing Research, Collaborative New Research, and Capacity Building.

I am pleased to advise that for the 2016 year we have been able to inform the NHMRC that we have performed well against our objectives and I provide some of that data here for your information.

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CDPC Member Profile

Dr Jane Thompson

What is your role in the CDPC?

I have a voluntary role as a consumer. I have been involved since the CDPC’s inception as a member of the subgroup of consumers supporting Joan Jackman in her role. I have been involved in Activities 3, 13 and 21 and 27.

What did you do prior to joining the CDPC?
I was a member of Alzheimer’s Australia’s former Consumer Dementia Research Network which I joined when it was established in 2010. My husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in early 2004 and he died in late 2007. During those years I was his primary carer and tried to keep up part-time work in women’s health research.

What has surprised you most about working for the CDPC?
The extent to which I have felt able, as a consumer, to influence the content and direction of the CDPC’s activities.

What do you like to do when you are not at work?
I am retired from the paid workforce now and I so have plenty of time to enjoy playing golf, swimming year round in my local pool, walking holidays and meeting my walking group on Saturday mornings to walk around Lake Burley Griffin (and chat over coffee and cake on the deck of the National Library of Australia afterwards).

Tell us one thing about yourself that we might not know?
I have a PhD in Zoology (thesis topic: Embryo-maternal relationships in a viviparous lizard)

Describe yourself in three words:
Calm, persistent, resilient.

What is the best advice you were ever given?
When my husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease one of my friends advised me : “Access as much help and support as you possibly can, you are going to need it!”. How true she was.

What is your best achievement?
Without a doubt, giving birth to and raising my three beautiful sons. They have now grown into fine caring men and two of them wonderful fathers. I take some credit for that!

CDPC Publications

Seaman, K., Saunders, R., Williams, E., Harrup-Gregory, J., Loffler, H., & Lake, F. (2017). An examination of students’ perceptions of their interprofessional placements in residential aged care. Journal of Interprofessional Care, 31(2), 147-153.

Taylor, M. E., Lord, S. R., Brodaty, H., Kurrle, S. E., Hamilton, S., Ramsay, E., ... & Close, J. C. (2017). A home-based, carer-enhanced exercise program improves balance and falls efficacy in community-dwelling older people with dementia. International Psychogeriatrics, 29(1), 81-91.

Sluggett, J. K., Ilomäki, J., Seaman, K. L., Corlis, M., & Bell, J. S. (2017). Medication management policy, practice and research in Australian residential aged care: Current and future directions. Pharmacological Research, 116, 20-28.
Nguyen, K. H., Mulhern, B., Kularatna, S., Byrnes, J., Moyle, W., & Comans, T. (2017). Developing a dementia-specific health state classification system for a new preference-based instrument AD-5D. Health and Quality of Life Outcomes, 15(1), 21.

Easton, T., Milte, R., Crotty, M., & Ratcliffe, J. (2017). Where’s the evidence? a systematic review of economic analyses of residential aged care infrastructure. BMC Health Services Research, 17(1), 226.

Dyer, S. M., Laver, K., Pond, C. D., Cumming, R. G., Whitehead, C., & Crotty, M. (2016). Clinical practice guidelines and principles of care for people with dementia in Australia. Australian family physician, 45(12), 884.

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