A major new online education program to provide high-quality support for carers of people living with dementia in Greater China will be freely accessible by July next year.
The program was originally developed by the World Health Organization and has been culturally adapted into Chinese as part of a large research project funded by the Australian Government through the National Foundation for Australia-China Relations.
The Flinders University led team has achieved the milestone of building versions of the online iSupport program in simplified and traditional Chinese.
Program facilitators and researchers have also been trained in the use of iSupport, while knowledge has been exchanged in dementia care policies and practices across Australia and greater China.
Internationally recognised dementia caregiving researcher Professor Lily Xiao from the Flinders University Caring Futures Institute is leading the research project, which will benefit carers of people living with dementia in Greater China, as well as Chinese-speaking Australians.
She says the next goal is to complete a nine-month trial among carers here in Adelaide, as well as regions of Beijing, Xi’an, Taipei, Hong Kong and Macau.
“We are in the process of recruiting Chinese-speaking carers of people with dementia to the program to evaluate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the program in a nine-month trial,” Professor Xiao says.
“We will finalise the program after the trial and make the program freely accessible for Chinese speaking carers of people with dementia in July 2022.”
Chinese Australians are the largest overseas-born group in Australia.
Eleven million people live with the debilitating condition in China, making up about 22% of the global dementia population.
The Chinese iSupport program is designed to prevent and/or decrease mental and physical health problems often experienced by carers of people with dementia, and to improve their quality of life.
Earlier this year iSupport received a $400,000 grant from the Australian Government initiative which aims to strengthen understanding and engagement between Australia and China.
An upcoming online seminar related to the Chinese iSupport for Dementia program will be held on Monday 13 September (10.30AM ACST). Research team member, Scientia Professor Henry Brodaty from the University of New South Wales will host the session on Australian dementia care policies and practices.
Scientia Professor Brodaty is the Scientia Professor of Ageing and Mental Health, Co-Director of the Centre for Health Brain Ageing and Director of the Dementia Centre for Research Collaboration.
For more information see the flyer below.