Younger people caring for their parents with dementia

The number of people living with dementia in Australia is continuing to rise. It’s estimated that 425,000 Australians currently live with dementia – that’s 250 Australians developing dementia every day.

The ABC AM program reported this week that a younger generation of Australians are now caring for their parents that are living with dementia.

The program gave the example of Isabelle Burke, who was just 20 when her then 54-year-old mum, Christine O’Brien, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease in 2014.

The juggle of caring for a parent living with dementia

“We soon realised that we couldn’t do anything to save her…(but) we could do a lot to help her.”

“It was a difficult juggle, keeping all the balls in the air – study, trying to have a young person’s life and helping mum as much as I could,” said Isabelle Burke.

As Eliza Borrello reported for the AM program, Isabelle Burke’s experience is one likely to be shared by others, as increasing numbers of Australians are diagnosed with dementia. The latest data puts the figure at 425,000 Australians living with dementia. With more older Australians living alone due to divorce, or by choice, it is often their adult children that will take the responsibility of caring for them.

How dementia will affect the Australian population

Maree McCabe, Chief Executive of Dementia Australia said: “By 2056, it is estimated that there will be 1.1 million people living with dementia and there won’t be one person that won’t be impacted by the disease in some way. The earlier we get to people, the more informed they are going to be and the better quality of life they are likely to have and the better their outcome.”

As Isabelle Burke suggested in the program, although people with Alzheimer’s Disease can be severely affected by it – their speech or mobility – there is so much you can do for them and for yourself.

Isabelle Burke accessed family counselling sessions through Dementia Australia to help discuss her mum’s condition with her siblings and to get to know the impact of the disease more thoroughly.

Other services that Dementia Australia offer include early invention programs, counselling, support and information sessions on dementia.

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About Oxley Home Care: 

Oxley Home Care offers tailored, early intervention and health and lifestyle coaching to people with dementia. Each person assisted is treated as an individual with their own history, memories and likes/dislikes taken into consideration, with services offered from early onset dementia through to palliative dementia care.

Oxley Home Care’s support services for people with dementia and their carers include:

  • Personal care, showering, dressing, grooming, dental hygiene and denture care
  • Activities to assist and minimise behaviours
  • Preparing and serving of meals
  • Daily living support, including domestic assistance
  • Transport to social events
  • Shopping and errands
  • Companionship and leisure activities

In addition, Oxley Home Care’s respite support allows carers to rest and re-energise with peace of mind, on a regular basis.

To find out more about getting the right support and care for a family member with dementia, contact Oxley Home Care on 1300 993 591.

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