Carers in ethnic communities invited to be part of national dementia project

Carers Noel and Sandra Ong with Moving Pictures project co-ordinator Bianca Brijnath and Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt at the Chung Wah Centre in Balcatta.
Carers Noel and Sandra Ong with Moving Pictures project co-ordinator Bianca Brijnath and Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt at the Chung Wah Centre in Balcatta.

CARERS are encouraged to be part of a national film project aimed at reducing the impact of dementia in Chinese, Indian and Arab communities.

The $563,000 Moving Pictures program launched in Balcatta this month and will see 15 short films created across Australia based on interviews with carers in ethnic communities about dementia warning signs, seeking help and care.

The films will have five language versions – Mandarin, Cantonese, Hindi, Tamil and Arabic.

National Ageing Research Institute social gerontology director Bianca Brijnath is the chief investigator for the project and met with members of the Chung Wah Cultural Centre in Balcatta, where the Chinese language versions of Moving Pictures are being produced.

She is working alongside colleagues from Curtin University, the University of Technology Sydney and Peking University.

Dr Brijnath said a couple of carers from the centre had agreed to be interviewed but they were seeking more from Perth’s Chinese community to take part.

“Low English proficiency, lack of awareness of where to seek services, and different cultural understandings of ageing, cognitive decline, and the role of family in enabling diagnosis and care, are all playing a part in delaying dementia diagnosis in CALD (culturally and linguistically diverse) communities,” she said.

“Film making has a long history of portraying the cultural complexities of everyday life, and lends itself well to the communities the initiative is trying to reach.

“These films could become an international resource, pioneered in Australia, and adaptable to different cultural settings and varying literacy levels.”

Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt also visited the Balcatta centre and said the films would be available online and via a free mobile and tablet app.

“This is about supporting these growing communities to cut through communication and cultural challenges to help vulnerable people,” he said.

“Experience shows that among CALD groups, dementia diagnosis can be delayed, increasing the difficulties faced by individuals and families.

“By lifting awareness in familiar languages, we hope people with the onset of dementia will be helped earlier, leading to better treatment plans and improved quality of life.”

He said more than 425,000 Australians were currently living with dementia and this was expected to rise to 1.1 million people by 2056.

The project is expected to be completed by June 2019.

To be part of the films, call 03 8387 2681 or email n.lee@nari.edu.au.

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