Caring, Sharing & Preparing for Cognitive Impairment (inc Dementia)

‘Caring, Sharing & Preparing for Cognitive Impairment Conference’ – NRAH – 9/3/18

This presentation was one I took very seriously. There was 200 Doctors, Nurses and Medical Professionals in the room. The Conference was all about getting the 3 health networks from SA together to share information.

My presentation is 11 minutes long and there is a small glitch at 3.09 secs into the video where an incoming call stopped the recording. (Only 10 seconds was missed).

I felt privileged to be able to deliver this presentation on behalf of the families and also people with dementia. Lets hope the messages get through. (fingers crossed)

Thank you also to Ian Gladstone for his terrific presentation which had the crowd roaring with laughter. Can’t wait to interview him next weekend. Bravo


The Drama Queen With A Caring Heart (Dementia Story)

Here it is everyone,

Grab a coffee and a couple of Tim Tams as you prepare to listen to Linda Booth open her world to us. Linda simply ‘keeps things real…’.

Upon hearing the interview back I realized how many valuable tips and scenarios Linda actually mentioned.

Linda’s story has a ‘little bit of everything’ and in true Dutch style she refuses to ‘sugar-coat’ issues. I feel privileged to hear her talk about her thoughts and feelings at times of great stress. This interview has some nerves at the start and gets better and better with a very confronting final story.

So sit back and relax and get ready for

‘The Drama Queen with a Caring Heart’….Linda Booth

*Thanks to Zak Partington for voiceover, editing and technical assistance

‘Pride of Australia’ Awards 2018 – Put Spotlight on Dementia Downunder


A CHARITY worker, teacher, school student and consumer adviser at the Royal Adelaide Hospital are the 2018 SA Pride of Australia winners.

The inspiring community-minded quartet are the stand out choices from dozens of nominations for the popular News Corp awards, devised 14 years ago to celebrate the spirit of those doing extraordinary things to help or save others.

Charity worker Rachael Zaltron founded Backpacks4SAKids in 2014 in memory of a friend who died before her dream of becoming a foster carer came true.

The charity transforms lives by providing assistance to children in care, homeless youth and families starting again after domestic violence incidents.

WINNERS: Harriette Rogers, 9, with Brett Partington, left, Steven Cameron, and Rachael Zaltron.Picture: DYLAN COKER

Ms Zaltron is one of two full-time employees, alongside 200 volunteers, who distribute more than 2500 backpacks annually.

“It’s the first award we’ve won so it’s very special,” the Ridgehaven resident said at the medal presentation at Keith Murdoch House yesterday. “It’s such an honour and an amazing acknowledgment of all the work our team have done.”

Harriette Rogers, 9, is keen to get her medal back to Seymour College to show her classmates, who supported her growing her hair long so it could be cut off and used to make wigs for children who had lost their hair to cancer.

After two years, 35cm needed to be trimmed.

“I’m thinking of doing it again but mum’s not too excited at the prospect of all the knots,” she said.

From Stirling, Harriette is organising a bike ride fund raiser to help add to the $3200 she has already raised for Canteen, a charity supporting children with cancer.

Brett Partington, a consumer adviser who started an online support group for families dealing with dementia, with more than 1200 members, paid tribute to his family, including mum Jan and sister Jane.

“When Dad (Bob) was diagnosed we were like the Brady Bunch … we gathered up and gave each other support,” the Woodside resident said. “We’ve been through hell but hoping to help others through this journey now.”

In response to family struggles with his father’s 10 year battle with Alzheimer’s Disease, Brett founded online support group ‘Dementia Downunder’  – backed by professionals – that helps Australian families dealing with dementia.

 Steven Cameron, who founded the Australian Association for Men in early Childhood Education, was humbled by the support of staff at the Kidman Park’s Barbara Kiker Memorial Kindergarten who nominated him.

“Knowing they thought that much of me was special enough and winning a medal was not in mind,” the Prospect resident said.

“It’s a very nice medal … and going to go nicely next to the Kung Fu medal I’ve got, which is not quite the same quality.”

Source: Advertiser Newspaper (SA) March 1, 2018

Memory Walk 2018 – Support Dementia Australia Now!



Want to stop dementia and feel good about it in the process?

Consider joining the Memory Walk 2018.

I support this event every year and like to remember my Dad as I walk with friends and family as I walk. If you have a friend or loved one with dementia (or who has passed away) or know someone who does, you can run or walk the course to support and honour them. Please join team ‘Dementia Downunder’ and we can walk as a big group. We have some dogs walking as well and they are very welcome. It is a great day to get some fresh air and some exercise anyway. If you prefer to make a donation and not attend that is really special as well. Please click the link below:



Waltzing Matilda


I wanted to share a ‘magical moment’ in the nursing home yesterday. I was rounding up men for Men’s Group in the large communal room where the residents were watching none other than ‘Andre Rieu- Live in Melbourne’ DVD.

I walked past a tiny older lady who was sitting in front of the tv, and noticed she had a ‘twinkle in her eye’. She summonsed me over with her index finger. I bent down to say ‘hello’ when she cheekily blurted out “Let’s just say ..You are all mine sweetheart… and I would be most honoured if you could take me for a dance?”

I replied… “ Sure …it would be an honour to waltz with you ‘..

I reached out to her very formally and we began to waltz in front of the other residents. We did this for about 2 minutes, and the smile on her face was priceless. After our waltz I put her arm inside my arm and I formally accompanied her back to her chair.

As I lead her back she said to me “ Why thank you kind sir for the dance… it was indeed an honour, and most enjoyable”.

It certainly made me smile but as she was about to sit down another lady started to get up out of her chair. My dance partner then pushed the other lady in the chest knocking her back into her chair.

She then hissed at the lady … “BACK OFF!…. He’s all mine!”..

….This is Dementia…100% true story)

Discussions in Dementia – *Coming Soon

Discussions in Dementia

Welcome to the innovative new podcast series that delves into the highs and lows of caring for people of all ages who are battling dementia.

Tune in to me chatting with everyday Australians as they navigate the ever changing landscape of dementia.

I will be talking with family caregivers, paid carers, nurses, doctors, dementia trainers & people with dementia. Each person will have a unique and different story to tell as they candidly discuss all things dementia.

Why do a podcast? …

To give people an inside look into the lives of Australians from all walks of life impacted by dementia across  ‘tell all’ 30 minute segments. You will be able to click on a link and play each interview at your leisure. All podcasts will be placed on the Dementia Downunder (DD) website for easy reference under the ‘podcast’ tab.

What is different about the podcasts?

They allow the ‘real stories’ behind dementia to come to the surface. There is so much stigma associated with dementia and these podcasts will weave across many relevant topics and even dip into some ‘taboo’ topics and traditional ‘no-go zones’.  The interview format is really informal and is pretty much a couch chat over a coffee.

Conversations are recorded at our Woodside Studio and are a great way to discover how to positively overcome the challenges facing Australian families.You can even listen to them as you drive to or from work.

SUBSCRIBE NOW! – To receive the first podcast in your ‘inbox’ when released in late January.



Diffusing Anger in Dementia Care


This post is probably not what you expect.

Doing it for Dementia……”Thank you” for the Nominations


I received an email today advising me that I have been nominated for a ‘2018 Pride of Australia’ medal. I am really humbled to be nominated, and do not have a clue who kindly put me forward?

Personal accolades is not what I am about, but I do feel privileged as I get so much happiness from making a person with dementia smile. I love it when we find a new way to allow a person with dementia to engage in an activity that others may have thought was not possible.

These people matter….every single one of them! We just need to tap into them and bring out the amazing memories and wisdom that may be locked away.

There is still a mountain of work to be done and I will never give up. I want people with dementia to be given the highest priority, with the best available care, and the most dignity possible.

So I just want to sincerely say “thank you” to the person who nominated me, and if I am successful I will certainly take the opportunity to talk about dementia and create as much awareness as I can.

PS – Late breaking news – I have just been advised that I have now made the finals!…fingers crossed.

‘Dementia Downunder’ Milestone……Officially Reached.


I am really proud about reaching 1000 members for Dementia Downunder. It shows that ‘DD’ is a valuable resource required in the community to help families and carers impacted by Dementia.

When I started ‘DD’ 3 years ago I remember thinking to myself “I wonder how many people could benefit from this?”…..Little did I know how many … and how much I would personally change and positively grow as a person! It also enabled me to have an even more amazing relationship with my Dad ( we hung out more and learnt new ways to communicate).

Thank you to all of you for sharing your stories and supporting each other. I know when my dad was alive it was really therapeutic to share amongst people who were going through similar things.

Dementia care is a very involved and confusing process that is completely individual to each person. It requires carers , nurses and family members to think on their feet and advocate for the person with Dementia at every opportunity.

Dementia is different!….

I sincerely thank you for making the effort to learn more about Dementia via Dementia Downunder to ultimately provide better care.

People with Dementia are still valuable and we need to continue to adapt to them to allow themselves to feel valued and live positive and fulfilling lives.

“Thank You!”….