07:04am Thursday 21 September 2017

New treatment trial looking at keeping carers healthy

Centre for Emotional Health 'Seniors Week'

According to Dr Maria Kangas from the Centre for Emotional Health, there is a growing demand for this kind of service in the community.

“Presently, over 200,000 people in Australia have a dementia-related condition such as Alzheimer’s. With the current aging population, it is estimated that by 2050, close to 1 million Australians will be suffering from dementia disorders. This means that soon thousands more people will be caring for family members affected by dementia and Alzheimer’s,” says Dr Kangas.

Previous research has found that carers are at high risk of suffering emotional problems, such as anxiety, stress and depression. Not only does this hinder a carer’s ability to provide full care for their family member suffering from dementia, the carer’s own health may deteriorate.

“Essentially, the carer role can be quite isolating, which may further increase the risk of carers’ distress,” says Dr Kangas.

This study is funded by Alzheimer’s Australia and offers carers eight weeklysessions of therapy conducted over a 10-week period. The aim of the therapy program is to help distressed carers reduce their anxiety and/or depression, as well as improve their general well being.

“Carers play a vital role in helping family members with dementia-related conditions manage their daily needs. Therefore, ensuring the well-being of carers is important,” says Dr Kangas.

Sessions are completely free and are being conducted now at the University. There is also the option for home visits for those in the Sydney metro area who can’t get to the Ryde campus because of their carer duties.

For further information about the trial please contact Dr Kangas and her research team on (02) 9850 4082 or email: maria.kangas@mq.edu.au

Any enquiries from the media should be directed to:
Golda Mitchell

phone:02 9850 4051

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