App provides guidance on behavioural symptoms of dementia

The Dementia Collaborative Research Centres (DCRCs) have launched a dementia care app to provide guidance to carers about the behavioural changes that can occur in dementia.

The Care4Dementia app is based on printed guides developed by the DCRC for Assessment and Better Care (DCRC ABC) at the University of NSW, which are also available in app form for clinicians.

Project coordinator Kim Burns said carers wanted nformation and advice at their fingertips, in language that is clear and easy to understand.

“The app was developed after extensive consultation with experienced carers and expert clinicians,” Ms Burns said.

“It covers an array of potential behavioural scenarios that might arise in dementia and strategies to manage these.”

More than 90 per cent of people with dementia display some form of behavioural or psychological symptoms during the course of their condition. These can include aggressive behaviours, agitated behaviours, anxiety, apathy, calling out, depression, delusions and hallucinations, resistance to care, socially inappropriate behaviours, sleep pattern changes and wandering behaviours.

Henry Brodaty, project leader and director of the DCRC ABC, said that for behaviours of concern, carers should always seek individual guidance from a GP or other health professional who is experienced in the management of behavioural changes in dementia.

As with all guidelines, recommendations may not be appropriate for use in all circumstances; help for the person with dementia is best tailored to the person’s unique circumstances, he said.

The app was launched at the 9th National Dementia Research and Knowledge Translation Forum in Sydney this week, where Ms Burns presented results from an evaluation study that investigated clinicians’ use of an app designed specifically to support health professionals in the management of behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD).

“Our findings suggest that this type of technology has the potential to support health professionals caring for persons with dementia and is being used successfully alongside traditional methods such as the printed guides,” Ms Burns said.

Both the Care4Dementia and BPSD Guide apps are available via the iTunes and Google Play app stores.

Posted in Aged Care

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