Alzheimer’s Australia Victoria launched an online dementia support website (http://www.helpwithdementia.org.au/) that brings together health services such as counselling, public health education and social programmes for people living with dementia, their families and carers through the web.
Given that 85% of general internet users in Australia utilise the net for communication activities, research and networking, it is only logical that health services for people with dementia and their significant others should extend to the web (Australian Communications and Media Authority 2015).
The great thing about online technology is that everything is literally at your fingertips. Especially for the tech saver person with dementia or caregiver. I know some of the readers are thinking; people who are older adults are not tech savvy. That is not true. 46 percent of older adults in Australia are already internet users (Australian Bureau of Statistics 2014). This platform (http://www.helpwithdementia.org.au/) is a life saver. Face to face services are no doubt great for people who can make the time and effort to travel for a session.
The ease of having services in the comfort of your own home is great. Going for services is really stressful and sometimes people or service providers forget that. There’s the stress of making time to travel, arranging transport, the stress of leaving your loved one alone, the anxiety experienced during the process of travelling, worrying about the cost of travel, taking time off from work or from an important social responsibility (Looking after your grandkids), the list goes on.
There are 50 million and one things to worry about. With an online site, I could be reading or watching about information on dementia sitting on the couch with my loved one or even just in my pyjamas in bed. There’s apparently 16 expert videos available on the site to help people understand about dementia.
There’s counselling that can be done through e-mail or there’s the option of a video conference. Or if you like to keep it casual there’s always the forum where you can hook up with a social network and exchange thoughts and read about people’s experiences on specific topics.
An online support platform is a great idea, and I hope to see more platforms that can cater to the needs of the online community. Youths and children these days are much more connected than I am and perhaps this medium might also be a way to connect to the younger generation to spread the news about having a healthier happier brain. Health prevention campaigns really need to take their heads out of the sand in tech-savvy countries, save the trees and really understand the people. Traditional means of health promotion is important but we also have to embrace the new wave of social media and technology and extend our care into the digital realm.
Source: Home – Alzheimer’s Australia Vic