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Before being diagnosed with young onset Dementia, Lisa Campbell a mother of 3 children from Victoria, was working in a senior corporate role. According to her husband Luke, Lisa was a great mum, very intelligent, outgoing, energetic and a happy person. However, overtime things began to change.

“If you spent 5 – 10 minutes with Lisa, you wouldn’t think there was anything wrong. However, if you spent an hour or two, you would see the repetition and concerning behaviours”.

In a raw and frank discussion, Luke shared his experiences of living with his wife’s dementia before diagnosis and the disruptive impact on their lives, home and their young children.

“Lisa started to spend less time with our kids and simple tasks like preparing meals started to drop off,” Luke said.

“She became quite irritable and aggressive. She would deny a lot of things and there were multiple versions of reality occurring for Lisa. Then everything intensified, the hoarding and the obsessive-compulsive type of behaviour, irritability, apathy and depression”.

Luke says that once Lisa’s condition was finally diagnosed at a clinic, they were basically shown the door. “There was no ongoing treatment plan. We were very much left on our own”.

General practice in a rapidly changing world is a webinar series for GPs. It is hosted by Dr Norman Swan and proudly brought to you by Tonic Media Network, in partnership with Dementia Support Australia

This practical webinar focuses on the knowledge and skills required to manage behaviours and psychological symptoms in people living with dementia (BPSD) including:

  • a suggested approach that GP’s can adopt that works for the person, their family and carers
  • the reality of disease progression and the role of advanced care planning, understanding, psychotic symptoms and delusions specific to BPSD and the limited role of antipsychotics,
  • implementation of positive behavior and routines in managing symptoms
  • facilitating the ability of GP’s to seek advice when they need it, and being able to call in professional assessment and care strategies.

“Having a good GP, who understands what’s happening with the diagnosis of dementia, and can help facilitate and advocate for some of those post diagnostic supports is what everybody really needs, says Dr Stephanie Daly, a general practitioner with a special interest in Dementia.

“It took a long time, and trial and error to put the support teams in place. Lisa is stabilized and manages the deterioration better because of that network that was created,” Luke added.

Watch the webinar, download the podcast and share with your colleagues.

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