Multi-morbidity in Dementia

Type: Video 40 mins

Multi-morbidity is the rule rather than the exception in dementia. People with dementia by definition have multiple challenges in multiple domains as a consequence of their dementia

In addition less than a fifth of people with dementia only have dementia. Four fifths have at least one other significant physical or mental disorder and many have a number of conditions simultaneously.

The goal was to implement a cost effective educational resource to increase knowledge and improve care for staff caring for those with YOD. The final educational resource consists of an interactive talking book that can be accessed electronically by any care provider of those living with younger onset dementia. The final product “Prescription for Life” is now available as an online resource nationally and internationally. The resource contains video links, audio’s from experts in the field and offers a wellbeing approach to dementia care. This project was a collaboration between Edith Cowan University (WA), The Bethanie Group (WA) and Mercy Health (VIC), financially supported by The Lovell Foundation.

Complexity in those with dementia is therefore common.  Many of our existing research and management paradigms are based on the notion of simplicity (i.e. addressing the dementia alone) or have a presumption of additiveness (i.e. that the treatment of Condition X in dementia is simply the treatment of Condition X and the treatment of dementia).

Emerging evidence suggests that there may be considerable error in making these assumptions and that failing to deal with complexity means failing those with dementia.  In this session we will consider complexity and multi-morbidity in dementia and what this means in our mission to improve the quality of life of people with dementia and those that support them by improving the quality of care that we provide.

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