CARERS of people living with dementia are being thrown a potential lifeline of support and connection.
Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt yesterday launched a research project to assess the effectiveness of technology in supporting carers.
The Member for Hasluck said Care for Carers is a national program using video conferencing to connect primary carers of people living with dementia.
There is no cost to participate in the six-week project but carers require access to a reliable internet connection.
The CQUniversity-led program is of particular benefit to people in areas where access to services is limited.
People on the program will discuss issues such as navigating the health and social care systems, being an advocate and caring for the carer.
The program will enable carers to share experiences, provide peer support and receive information on issues that impact them on a daily basis.
Lead project researcher Professor Lynne Parkinson said participants will be offered training to use the technology, in partnership with Global Community Resourcing and Prevention First.
“Caring for someone with dementia can be extremely challenging and often a very lonely and isolating experience,” she said.
“We want to establish a virtual network for carers, so they can connect with their peers to talk about these challenges and access valuable support and advice.”
Past research has shown video conferencing is easy to use and brings people together in the comfort of their home.
“All participants need to do is commit to a weekly session and engage in the conversation,” she said.
The first six-week program is underway and the research team is looking for more people to sign-up.
To enrol in the program, visit www.cqu.edu.au/caringforthecarers.