A high-tech regional network is being rolled out to support carers of people with dementia in Pearce, thanks to a $1.7 million investment from the Liberal Government.
Federal Member for Pearce, Christian Porter, said local carers were being asked to join the Virtual Dementia Friendly Rural Communities (Verily Connect) project, which uses a newly developed smartphone app, website and videoconferencing to help care for carers.
“It’s an online meeting place that is the exciting result of harnessing technology to help humanity,” Mr Porter said.
“It promises to reduce the challenges of distance and isolation, linking carers and helping them to continue to deliver critical support to some of our most vulnerable and treasured citizens.
“Complementing the online technology, personal help will also be provided by local volunteers trained in the Verily Connect system.”
Mr Porter said that with over 425,000 Australians living with dementia, the work of carers was critical, especially in regional areas.
“Verily Connect is about supporting the many seniors who rightly want to age in our local communities,” he said.
“Keeping families and communities together is critical for our country towns, so it is vital to ensure regional centres provide as much support and as many services as possible to support our senior residents.”
Verily Connect has been developed by La Trobe University’s John Richard Centre and, depending on its success, could have national applications.
The commitment to Verily Connect is part of the Liberal Government’s more than $200 million investment in research to manage, prevent and find cures for dementia, with the five-year Boosting Dementia Research initiative launched in 2015.