Subscription

We are inviting submissions that will challenge, inform and contribute to shaping the future of dementia care. 

The International Dementia Conference will bring together like-minded people from around the world with a shared goal of improving the lives of people living with dementia and offering hope and choice in their future.

We are currently seeking abstracts from those working in scientific, clinical and psychosocial research. We are also seeking submissions about practice and innovation in the delivery of dementia-specific services. We strongly welcome papers and contributions from people with dementia and carers who have unique perspectives to share and our team are happy to provide support in preparation and presenting.

Submissions will be carefully considered and selected by a panel. Successful submissions will draw on practice, research, policy, analysis and personal experience to provide an accessible and informative platform for debate and discussion. Submissions will address the issues that confront people living with dementia in a wide variety of settings such as community, hospital, residential and social care settings.

  • Oral Presentations: in addition to your written submission, please upload a two-minute video introducing yourself and your abstract
  • E-Posters: to enhance the delegate experience we are pleased to offer an E-Poster platform. All selected submissions will be asked to deliver a PDF or an interactive PowerPoint slide. Selected posters will be highlighted during the five-minute ‘Fast Forward’ poster Q&A sessions held in the lunch break.

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Proposed topics

People with dementia and carers have so many choices to make regarding care. But how do we know what is the best choice and what choices really exist? We want to explore, deconstruct, challenge and consider choice from the big to the small decisions. How do we support choice, how do we challenge the lack of choice and how do we inform the culture of choice for people with dementia and staff?

  • What does real choice look like?
  • Are people being given the truth about what choices they really have?
  • Examples of research and practice creating better options and choices and the dialogue to support this
  • Learnings from international experiences of Consumer Directed Care
  • Enabling and supporting choices of people with dementia regarding their sexuality, intimacy and relationships
  • For people with communication challenges, how do we support choice and develop this?
  • Changes in the culture of choices in communities, residential and hospital care regarding the treatments people have access to and the decisions to be made.

It is said that there is nothing new under the sun. And with many describing themselves as innovative what does it mean? We want to explore true innovation in dementia care, and examples of innovation being put into practice. We want to understand the benefits of choosing to be innovative over simply repeating what has been done before. We are seeking examples of research, practice and learning about innovation that has changed the lives of people with dementia in the community, care home or hospital setting.

  • Examples of reinvigorating practice
  • New methods and models of approaching support and care
  • A new narrative of support and empowerment
  • Integration of support in the community
  • Use of people or technology to make a difference

The discussion around end of life care is prominent, but we are no closer to achieving at a consensus. Do people with dementia really have a say in the circumstances of their end of life? In terms of better planning for end of life support: when does it begin? How can we best support the choices of people with dementia? We are seeking research and examples of best practice in the community, residential and hospice care. We are also keen to see papers that explore practices to improve palliative care (e.g. delirium needs, hydration, support to the family). In discussing how we deliver better palliative care, we are seeking a wide scope of papers, including:

  • Treatment and interventions during end of life, such as hydration, delirium and pain needs
  • Projects and learning from practice
  • Supporting families and care staff when someone dies
  • Examples of supporting end of life narratives
  • Advance care planning, what does it mean and what have we learnt?
  • Views and learnings on assisted dying

When a person with dementia experiences changes in their behaviour choices need to be made: to try to control, eliminate and extinguish? Or to understand, enable and support?

  • When is a ‘behaviour’ not part of dementia? Understanding changes in behaviour
  • Is being “resistive to care” really a person with dementia expressing themselves and making a choice?
  • Innovations in communication and their impact on behaviour changes
  • Eco-psycho-social approaches
  • Challenging the language around changed behaviours
  • Best practice in delirium care
  • Transforming a culture of care and the impact on changed behaviours
  • Approaches to changed nighttime behaviours
  • Research into pharmacological and non-pharmacological approaches

Calling all “MacGyvers” The clock is ticking to use good design choices to make the most of what we’ve already got. New development will be celebrated, but we also want to hear of innovation and adaptation in the design of existing

  • How can we meet the needs of people with dementia in residential aged care by refurbishing, reinventing and redesigning our existing environments?
  • How can we be more inventive when building new environments for people with dementia that will stand the test of time?
  • Examples of buildings that have improved the lives of people with dementia
  • Research on design that demonstrates quality improvement and cost analysis
  • Successful project management and decision making
  • Refurbishment projects; what we need to think about and learn from experience
  • Catching up with the innovators and ‘pacesetters’ in dementia design
  • Design principles and interpretation, what it means for people with dementia and how we define personal space
  • What are the sensory impacts of dementia and do we overlook these?

What rights do others have to make choices on behalf of a person with dementia when it comes to their sexuality, intimacy and relationships? And how can we best support sexuality of a person with dementia?

  • Examples of supporting people with dementia from LGBTI communities
  • Supporting the sexuality of people with dementia from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds
  • Expressing sexuality in older age: supporting staff to adopt professional approaches, confronting taboos and navigating wellness
  • New relationships – how do we address the needs of a person with dementia when they no longer identify with their spouse?
  • What knowledge and tools are required to best support a person’s sexuality?
  • Working with families and care partners to supporting the person with dementia to make choices relating to their sexuality, intimacy and relationships

With the myriad of inventive and therapeutic approaches to choose from, we want to explore the evidence that can enable us to make informed decisions about their application. What place do they have? How should we use and adapt them? How much do they cost? We invite submission of research and practice papers in the area of therapeutic approaches to dementia care, including (but not limited to) the use of:

  • Animals and pets
  • Simulated interventions
  • Massage and aromatherapy
  • Intergenerational approaches

How and when do we use the arts as tools and approaches? What is the evidence and what are the parameters? How can we use the arts as tools to engage and get to know the person with dementia? What is the hard evidence? What changes can they make for the person? How should arts be used by the staff to provide individualised care and/or support?

  • How can these approaches work well and what are their limitations?
  • What cautions exist and what are the dilemmas?
  • Examples of the evidence- and practice-based impact of arts, including creative projects by people with dementia
  • Use of arts, such as music, to better understand the person and create engagement in communities
  • Examples of projects that introduce others to the creative skills of the person with dementia

Hearing the voice of people with dementia has long been established as a core principle of practice, and indeed in bills of rights, but does this translate and are we listening and understanding? We want to hear of examples from research and practice that support the views of people with dementia, and demonstrate the importance of inclusion, collaboration and co-development.

  • How are the views representative of a wide body of people, from a range of cultures, ages and social backgrounds?
  • What discrimination do people with dementia face and how is this confronted?
  • What does this look like for people with dementia being involved in research and practice?
  • Examples of co-design in research and practice, and how to avoid simply 'ticking the box' when involving people with dementia
  • How are the needs of people at the later stages of dementia heard and understood when verbal communication may no longer be the primary way of sharing who we are and what we need?

We are seeking papers that support us to better understand the spiritual and pastoral needs of people with dementia through research, practice and innovations in communities and in care settings.

  • Enabling conversation about spiritual needs
  • From hymns to auras: supporting diversity in approaches and expression of spiritual needs
  • What is the evidence on what enables a positive pastoral care approach?
  • What tools and approaches ensure that enabling spiritual care is recognised and supported by care staff?
  • What do we need to be ‘dementia friendly’ places of worship in the community and in care settings?
  • Use of technology of other innovations to support these needs

What does it take to be a good leader in dementia care? We want to explore innovative leadership and examples of embedding best practice. What developments in dementia leadership and support models exist and how do we best support and embed them? How can people with dementia, carers and members of the community also be leaders in aged care?

  • How do we prepare a sustainable workforce?
  • Mentoring for career development
  • Formal and informal mentoring programs
  • What is the best way to mentor staff to achieve better dementia care?
  • Do managers need mentoring for dementia service operation?
  • Leadership in practice: what is required and what needs to be in place to make the 'best' choices?

At a time when 'knowledge translation' and 'building capacity' are buzz words, how can we best educate towards improving care for people with dementia? How can education enable carers of people with dementia to make good care choices? We are seeking to explore what constitutes effective education that results in sustained improvement.

  • Innovative training programs
  • What’s new in eLearning?
  • Consumer education
  • How can we really build capacity?
  • How do we ensure knowledge translation?

 Technology and innovation have a role to play in dementia care and have the potential to facilitate more informed decision making for everyone, including people with dementia. We are seeking examples of technology that:

  • Supports the learning of practitioners
  • Helps people with dementia make care decisions and be supported
  • Enables efficiencies in assessment and information management
  • Incorporates the latest developments, for example, virtual reality
  • Involves and has been co-developed by people with dementia

At times regulatory and organisational environments seek to avoid risk and often end up denying rights and freedoms of people with dementia, including freedom of choice. While it may be inspired by a desire to protect, a risk-averse approach often does more harm than good. What is the next step to changing risk-averse approaches to care and ensuring we inform, rather than restrict, choice?

  • Working sensibly with risk
  • Risk reduction programmes versus risk ‘embracing’ programs
  • Understanding, prioritising and responding to risk
  • What is acceptable risk for people with dementia to have in care homes and how do we support this?

People with dementia don’t necessarily want an ‘activities program’, however, this can be a measure of a good service for relatives, or even from a standards regulation point of view. Why do people with dementia and carers choose day and respite services? How do day and respite services fit into the bigger picture of aged care and provide something different?

  • What innovations exist to ensure services actually offer what people want?
  • The role of day and respite services in restorative function
  • Examples of rehabilitation and re-ablement in day and respite services
  • Do daycare services still have a role in dementia care? What innovation is already happening, and what needs to happen in future?
  • What does good respite look like, and is there evidence it makes a difference to people with dementia or carers?

The dining experience in aged care is about more than just food. For people living with dementia, it is about the experience of dining, the dining environment and enabling dining choices. We are seeking papers that address the following questions:

  • What has changed in food culture to improve the engagement and experience of people in dementia care?
  • What should the ideal dining environment look like?
  • Do olfactory and other sensory changes mean we need to think about food and mealtimes in a different way?

Dementia inclusive communities have been a prominent example of how we need to develop our communities and not just our ‘services’ for citizens with dementia. We want to understand what this means in practice and how we can learn from the local and global experience of this work.

  • Examples of projects that ensure people with dementia can choose how they are included in communities
  • Sharing projects that define innovation in dementia inclusive communities
  • Barriers to successful delivery of projects
  • What has changed for people with dementia through this work?
  • How should we define what community means for people with dementia and their carers in the future?
  • Evaluating DFC work and what changes have come from it

Models of care for people with dementia have been conceptualised, put into practice and even trademarked. What models have been evaluated, and which ones are working well? Do we need a model of care or a model of enablement? Which one/s should we choose to use?

  • What do we mean by a model of care, and is it relevant in a CDC world?
  • How does a model of care become embedded and successful
  • What factors challenge the sustainability of a care model?
  • What things should we challenge and change about our approach to models of care?
  • What have we learnt from evaluating these models?
  • What does the future look like?

Caring for a person with dementia raises many concerns and challenges for family and friends. For some, caring for a family member at home is a choice, but for many, it is not. Are family carers adequately supported? How do we ensure greater choice for family carers in the support that is provided? With many family carers being of working age, how do family carers ‘juggle’ work and care? Papers are welcomed on the issues of supporting carers to care for people in the community and to continue this role in care homes and hospital. Submissions can address:

  • Research
  • Practical programs of support
  • The direct experience of family carers

While the ‘face’ of dementia is older, people with working-age dementia are often identified as having specific needs and being faced with specific choices. We are seeking papers to explore a range of issues including:

  • Which community services really work for people with younger onset dementia and how do we make them accessible to a group of people that can be separated by geography, age and their needs?
  • Is there an ideal nursing/residential/respite model for younger people with dementia?
  • What research should inform and shape policy and practice?
  • Intellectual disability and dementia, the impact of dementia on their lives and how are they best supported?
  • What are the stories of families affected by younger onset dementia and how do we support them better?
  • Is maintaining work an option? If so, how?

One in every four people with dementia requires hospital services each year. The busy hospital environment can be problematic and the person with dementia can often experience worse clinical outcomes and higher mortality rates than a person without dementia. What can be done to ensure a successful hospital stay? How can we better ensure choice for a person with dementia in the acute setting?

  • Decreasing hospital stays for people with dementia
  • Examples of ‘effective’ discharge processes.
  • Preventing readmission.
  • Dementia and falls prevention
  • Dementia and continence
  • Dementia and complex care needs
  • Delirium in the hospital context
  • What are the best models and supports for people with dementia attending or admitted to hospital?

In Australia and other countries, the use of specialist care services in the community or in dedicated specialist units are under review to consider their role in supporting people whose needs are unable to be met in mainstream contexts. We would like to hear research that has evaluated the role and effective function of these types of services and consider what the best models are. We encourage papers that consider practice that is ‘hand-in-hand’ with the design and management of these services. We are interested in the ageing population in the correctional and prison system and care innovations in that context.

  • What is a special care unit and who should it support?
  • What models exist and what clinical tools inform our models?
  • The use of ‘one to one’ staff, why and for what?
  • How can correctional and prison services support people with dementia and what needs to change?

Our list of subjects is not exhaustive but aims to provide direction on specific areas we wish to address. Please do not hesitate to submit a paper that you believe the conference team needs to consider but is not captured in the themes we have given. Drop us an This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call us on +61 2 8437 7355 to discuss options.

Thank you for your submission.