Dementia forums prove invaluable

Western Sydney University researchers are thankful to the Macarthur community for providing them with vital information about dementia services in the region.

The group is gathering information for a planned Memory Clinic in south-west Sydney, which would bring together a host of dementia professionals, services and information in the one place.

Dr Genevieve Steiner said three forums were held – at Camden, Campbelltown and Liverpool – last week to speak directly with local sufferers, carers and healthcare professionals about what they most needed from the future clinic.

“There were five big things we took out of the forums,” Dr Steiner said. “The first thing, which everyone mentioned, was how fragmented services currently are in the region and how hard it is to navigate through the different resources. That’s what this clinic will be all about, a one-stop shop for dementia services.”

The second point raised was the access to information about dementia and the services available, while the third point highlighted sufferers being ‘left to fend for themselves’ after a diagnosis, with no one to check back with as their condition progressed. The final points raised were the need for area-specific services and the absolute, undeniable necessity for this clinic to be launched as soon as possible.

Dr Steiner also said carers brought up their desire to have the clinic located in a place easily accessible via public transport. She said the public feedback was invaluable and would make a genuine difference in planning for the clinic.