Carer research highlights the true impact of dementia

30 July, 2015

Alzheimer's Australia welcomes the findings in the Ageing and Mental Health journal - Homicidal ideation in family carers of people with dementia (published online: 20 July 2015).

These results are the first of their kind, and underline the pressing need for more support programs for carers and family members of people with dementia.

Carol Bennett, CEO of Alzheimer's Australia said, "Our experience has shown it is not just the individual with dementia who needs assistance but the family, friends and carers.

"It is essential that carers of people with dementia are supported to both manage the impact of a diagnosis and the significant challenges that 24 hour care can have on their lives. Alzheimer's Australia encourages carers to seek support to help them cope and reduce the risk of carer burnout."

The Griffith University study interviewed 21 Australian carers and explored their thoughts of homicide. It highlighted that compassion, isolation, a sense of being trapped, exhaustion and self-defence were contributing factors.

"Alzheimer's Australia welcomes research to inform better services and programs, not only for people with dementia but their carer's and family members" Bennett said.

With over 1.2 million people currently involved in the care of a person with dementia and projections indicating Australia faces a shortage of more than 150,000 paid and unpaid carers for people with dementia by 2029, the need for more services and support programs will only increase.

Bennett says, "We rely on carers, as 70 per cent of people with dementia live in the community. It's important that we are on the front foot in addressing the growing needs of people with dementia and the impact that this will have on carers now and in the future."