According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, dementia is the second leading cause of death among Australians, it affects almost 50 million people worldwide and without a medical breakthrough is expected to increase.
Integratedliving Australia is rolling out Wellness for Independence programs across the Hunter, providing valuable resources for the ageing community .Featuring a range of clinically-based programs, Wellness for Independence is helping integratedliving ensure equitable access to services for older people in rural, regional and remote Australia.
The Memory Wellness program addresses the timely diagnosis and early intervention of dementia and focuses on developing brain health. “There is generally a three year gap between people discussing symptoms of dementia with their GP and them receiving treatment.
This timeframe is even greater in rural and remote communities,” said integratedliving Chief Executive Officer Catherine Daley. “Early intervention is the key to preventing dementia and slowing the onset of symptoms.
Memory Wellness helps identify and address the risk factors that contribute to dementia and other memory related illnesses.”
As part of the program customers receive a wellness tracker, a waterproof device similar to a FitBit which monitors their exercise and sleep.
“The trackers monitor some of the risk factors that contribute to dementia. Things like lack of exercise and sleep can play a major part in the onset and development of memory related diseases,” said Ms Daley.
Memory Wellness also incorporates the Digital Wellness program which covers topics including music, nature, photography and a ‘this is my life section’.
Customers receive an iPad and are supported to use it to develop their brain health. “Spending 20 minutes a day completing brain training activities in areas of interest to each person can make a difference,” said Ms Daley.
The focus of the program is to support development of new skills and research shows this is integral in developing memory wellness.
Indra Arunachalam, Project Manager Strategy and Innovation for the programs said that the lifestyle in customers are proving to be invaluable.
“We are improving the health lteracy of older people and enabling them to make better lifestyle choices that ultimately allow them to stay well and stay at home.
“The feedback from customers who have undertaken the Memory and Digital Wellness programs is very positive, we’ve seen consistent improvement in customers’ health outcomes after they have participated in the programs,” she added.
Call 1300 782 896 or visit www.integratedliving.org.au for more information.