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Dementia resources help create a dementia-friendly future

Published 26 June 2024

NQPHN works with service providers and community to navigate care and support for people with dementia


Northern Queensland Primary Health Network (NQPHN) is working towards a dementia-friendly future with several initiatives aimed at improving awareness and understanding about the chronic condition. 

NQPHN Chief Executive Officer Sean Rooney said with an ageing population, it was important to develop resources to assist health professionals and the community to navigate care and support for people with dementia. 

“Dementia is one of the major health challenges that Australia is facing and its impacts on families, the community, and the health system are far-reaching,” Mr Rooney said.  

“Dementia-friendly communities support a person with dementia to have the best quality of life and allows us to think about dementia differently. 

“We have been working closely with health professionals, residential aged care homes (RACHs), and the community to create resources that educate, inform, and empower people, while making sure they have the access to care that they need. 

NQPHN has recently highlighted the impacts of dementia in North Queensland with resources, workshops, and the Dementia Forum in Mackay, which launched the Brain Magnets initiative. 

“The magnet is a quick-reference guide to help people with dementia and their loved ones find information and stay connected with their emergency and support contacts,” Mr Rooney said. 

“The magnets are used as an aid to help identify or find important information more easily.” 

The magnets link to the Consumer Dementia Pathways resources on My Community Directory, where community members can find services in their local area. 

“To create the dementia resources pages on My Community Directory, we worked closely with the Western Australia Primary Health Alliance as they have a similar model,” Mr Rooney said. 

“We engaged people living with dementia, their carers, and families, as well as health professionals and other service providers to understand the challenges in navigating dementia care to then codesign the Consumer Dementia Pathways resources. 

"We also mapped dementia services across the NQPHN region by community to identify and validate relevant community information and health promotion resources, including in the Consumer Dementia Pathways resources. 

“Our teams will continue to engage with local services to ensure information is accurate and maintained using our data quality systems and process, and encourage organisations to add their services to the directory.” 

Community members can also download the My Community Info from the app store. 

Meanwhile, more than 70 North Queensland family carers, from as far north as New Mapoon in Cape York and west to Charters Towers, have recently upskilled so they can assist those with dementia at their end of life. 

The training was delivered through the Last Days Dementia Program workshops, which are funded by Northern Queensland Primary Health Network (NQPHN) through the Greater Choice for At Home Palliative Care program, and presented in collaboration with HammondCare. 


Caption: The Brain Magnets initiative was launched at the recent Dementia Forum in Mackay. Pictured from left are Cairns & Community Dementia Carers Support Group volunteer Jude Gray, NQPHN Older Persons Health and Palliative Care Officer Darinka Zivkov, NQPHN Older Person's Health and Palliative Care Manager Maria Callaghan, and Cairns & Community Dementia Carers Support Group volunteer Karina Gray.

Last updated: 26 June 2024