Twelve short films in Italian, Greek, Vietnamese, and Spanish have today been launched, aimed at raising awareness about dementia among culturally and linguistically diverse communities (CALDs).
“Moving Pictures is an innovative multi-media project which is helping to make Australian dementia and aged care services much more inclusive for non-English speaking communities,” Director of Social Gerontology at the National Ageing Research Institute (NARI), and head of the Moving Pictures project, Professor Bianca Brijnath, says.
Moving Pictures aims to inform and educate CALD communities about dementia, and the importance of early diagnosis to enable better treatment and quality of life.
The films also provide practical tips, as well as information about services that are available to families caring for someone living with dementia.
“There are currently almost 480,000 people living with all forms of dementia in Australia, and this is projected to increase to over one million people by 2058 without a major medical breakthrough,” Brijnath says.
“With nearly 30 per cent of Australians aged over 65 born overseas, mainly in non-English speaking countries, there are growing concerns that the prevalence of dementia in some CALD communities could increase by more than 650 per cent in the years to come.
“Through Moving Pictures, we are sharing the stories and experiences of people living with dementia and their carers in a range of languages, to raise awareness and provide support and information.”
Moving Pictures has been funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health since 2017.
The first series was launched in 2019, featuring 15 short films in Hindi, Tamil, Mandarin, Cantonese and Arabic.
Comics in each of the different languages have also been developed.
“We know families and carers have found these in-language resources very useful, and we are continuing to look for opportunities to produce more films in more languages, to better support Australia’s CALD communities,” Brijnath says.
The films feature interviews with family carers, which is particularly important given research shows carers from a CALD background are twice as likely to experience psychological distress compared to those born in Australia.
“We know that, particularly in CALD communities, families are less likely to move their loved one into aged care, and prefer to provide the majority of dementia care at home,” Brijnath says.
“That’s why it’s so important families in CALD communities have access to resources to help them provide dementia care at home, and to know where to turn if they need support.”
Moving Pictures also aims to address cultural barriers which can sometimes hinder early diagnosis of dementia.
“Often in CALD families, early signs of dementia are conflated with normal ageing; later symptoms with madness.
“In some cultures, people believe dementia is caused by family conflict or neglect.
“These misconceptions can breed denial, fear, and misunderstanding, and can mean delays in diagnosis, referrals to specialist care, and appropriate medication use.”
“Moving Pictures supports family carers in CALD communities to deliver and sustain high-quality, culturally appropriate care at home, and to improve the quality of life of people living with dementia,” Brijnath says.
- Moving Pictures is a collaboration between the National Ageing Research Institute and Curtin University. The project is guided by dementia and multicultural peak bodies, community groups, relevant health, community and aged care services as well as consumers.