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CQUni project for dementia carers to use videoconferencing

AN INNOVATIVE national research project at CQUniversity aims to improve support for isolated carers of people with dementia with technology.

Run by ageing and health promotion experts, the Caring for Carers project is a free six-week program that uses videconferencing to connect primary carers of people living with dementia.

Through a partnership with Community Resourcing, the program allows carers to share experiences, provide peer support and receive expert guidance.

Program participants will attend weekly meetings lasting for about one hour, to discuss issues such as navigating the health and social care systems, being an advocate and caring for the carer.

Lead researcher for the project, Professor Lynne Parkinson, said the key aim was to assess if videoconferencing was an effective tool for carers to access support, build resilience and overcome challenges.

"Caring for someone with dementia can be extremely challenging and often a very lonely and isolating experience,” Prof Parkinson said.

"As part of the project we will also provide trained support resources to help people using videoconferencing technology for the first time.

Prof Parkinson said carers were facing pressures and time constraints, so the program was designed specifically to act as a support mechanism to help make life easier.

"We are very aware of the pressures carers face; many are performing their duty on top of other commitments such as work or raising a family, but we have designed this program in order to help people deal with these challenges more effectively,” she said.

"All participants need to do is commit to a weekly session and engage in the conversation.

The first six-week program as part of the project starts at the end of this month.

The research team is looking for more people to sign up.

In particular, it is looking for primary carers based in regional and remote areas.

There is no cost to participate but those interested will need to have access to a reliable internet connection.

For more information, or to enrol visit www.cqu.edu.au/ caringforthecarers.



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