HEIDI DOUGLASS | h.douglass@unsw.edu.au

Co-Director of UNSW Sydney’s Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing (CHeBA), Professor Henry Brodaty, along with a team of national and international researchers, have been the successful recipients of a $400,000 award to strengthen professional collaboration in dementia caregiver education and research in Australia and Greater China.  

The project, led by Flinders University, will showcase Australia’s excellence in dementia care and research by developing a Chinese iSupport program. It is funded by the Australian Government’s National Foundation for Australia-China Relations; an initiative established in 2020 to strengthen understanding and engagement between Australia and China. 

The iSupport program, developed by the World Health Organisation, is an online education program for informal carers, to enhance the public health response to dementia.  

Professor Henry Brodaty, a world-leader in ageing and dementia research, said the project will showcase Australia’s excellence in dementia care and research in Greater China by developing, offering and evaluating a Chinese iSupport program. 

“Australia has an outstanding reputation for dementia care policies, standards and care services and Chinese-Australians are the largest overseas-born group in Australia,” said Professor Brodaty.

"This program is expected to reach an extraordinary number of carers and improve health and wellbeing for people with dementia in Australia and Greater China."

Professor Henry Brodaty, CHeBA Co-Director 

Through the project, rigorous research evidence will be gathered of the impact of the Chinese iSupport program on quality of life and other health outcomes for carers and people with dementia, cost-effectiveness and carers’ experience to inform the development of dementia policies, resources and practices in Greater China and Australia. The impact of the program will be measured via a multicentre trial led by Professor Lily Xiao from Flinders University in Adelaide with 204 carers across 6 trial sites.  

The program will also showcase innovation via online education and virtual carer support groups in responding to COVID-19 outbreaks.