Try to imagine: you’ve spent 50 years of your life in Australia and you are fluent in the language, but increasingly your brain tells you you’re back in the small town you grew up in and you are speaking the first language you learned. Strangely, no one around you can understand and they insist on speaking to you in English, which you don’t understand or speak.
Or this: you’ve lived for many years in Australia but were never particularly fluent in the language of your adopted country. You managed this by relying on the English skills of your children and you were heavily involved with the expatriate community for your social network. Now you’ve been diagnosed with dementia. You don’t believe the doctor and your friends may not think dementia is a real condition, but you have been having trouble with daily tasks that used to be very simple for you. Also, you’ve become lost a few times now in your local neighbourhood…
Dementia is scary, in anyone’s language. For those in our community with dementia who are not native English speakers and have different perspectives on illness and how support is received, another layer of difficulty may be encountered. The resources featured today focus on culturally and linguistically diverse communities.
Commonly used dementia screening tools may not always be appropriate for those for whom English is a second language. Alzheimer’s Australia has collected information on a range of culturally appropriate dementia assessment tools that can be used with CALD communities. These include the Rowland Universal Dementia Assessment Scale (RUDAS), guidelines developed by National Cross Cultural Dementia Network in collaboration with National Ageing Research Institute (NARI) and culturally sensitive screening tool methodologies.
Note: free hard copies of this test are available from Alzheimer’s Australia Vic library. The kit includes a DVD Guide to Administration and Scoring and a CD of Supplementary Information.
Don’t let the ‘vintage’ vibe of this publication put you off, it’s still super-relevant! A resource kit outlining dementia perceptions in Arabic, Chinese, Croatian, Greek, Italian, Macedonian, Polish, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Turkish and Vietnamese communities.
In addition to the kit, the Perceptions of dementia in ethnic communities project report provides an overview of some of the key issues that were raised across these communities. This report covers a range of issues which were common across all communities as well as some additional issues that were raised but not included in the resource kit. The information has been compiled following consultation with ethnic and generalist community organisations and community members. Where available, other research has been used to support or reflect different opinions gathered through the community consultations. The report outlines project background, methodology, findings and discussion and conclusion.
Dementia information is available in a number of languages including Arabic, Armenian, Assyrian, Chinese, Croatian, Dutch, Finnish, German, Greek, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Laotian, Latvian, Macedonian, Malay, Maltese, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Tagalog, Turkish, Ukrainian and Vietnamese. These can all be downloaded free of charge from our website.
Note: select versions of this video are available from the library as well.
Doing what we can to reduce our risk of dementia is important for everyone in the Australian community. For those who would prefer to read about strategies that may reduce dementia risk in a language other than English, Alzheimer’s Australia has produced the Dementia Risk Reduction Bilingual Tip Sheets. The tip sheets are available in the following languages and can be found on our Your Brain Matters website:
Arabic – Assyrian – Chinese – Croation – Dari – Dinka – Dutch – French – German – Greek – Hindi – Indonesian – Italian – Japanese – Korean – Lithuanian – Macedonian – Maltese – Polish – Serbian – Somali – Swahili – Tagalog – Thai – Turkish – Ukrainian – Vietnamese
If you would prefer to talk to someone, you can call the National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500. If you need an interpreter you can contact the Helpline through the Telephone Interpreting Service on 131 450.