The projects on this site have been established through the Dementia Australia National Quality Dementia Care Initiative, a 4 year program that aims to fast-track the implementation of existing dementia care research into wide-spread improvements in practice.

The National Quality Dementia Care Initiative is a consumer driven program aimed at translating existing research findings into better dementia care across Australia. The Initiative was established in 2010 by Dementia Australia with $3.3 million funding from the J.O. &J.R. Wicking Trust, Bupa Care Services Australia and the Dementia Collaborative Research Centres.

The Initiative is managed by staff at Dementia Australia National Office, but is overseen and directed by members of the Consumer Dementia Research Network (CDRN), a group of 20 people with dementia and family carers from around Australia who have an interest in dementia research and research translation. Since it’s establishment, members of the CDRN have funded eight innovative national knowledge translation projects addressing issues from palliative care to dementia diagnosis and dementia friendly design.

This program is unique in Australia in giving consumers control over funding decisions. The process begins with members of the CDRN meeting face-to-face to determine the biggest concerns facing dementia care, then working with Australia’s leading dementia care researchers and aged care service providers to identify which of these concerns have a solid evidence base supplying answers, and which can feasibly be addressed using knowledge translation strategies. CDRN members then prioritise these issues, release calls for project proposals, assess applications and decide on project funding. They also maintain close oversight of funded projects through membership of steering and advisory committees.

Most of the funded projects are still in development, and will not start to deliver changes in practice until later 2013. However, many of the projects have been successful in engaging with a wide range of stakeholders, and several have leveraged additional funding from other sources in excess of $1 million. The CDRN has also gone from strength to strength, developing strong relationships with a broad range of researchers and research organisations in Australia and internationally. Most significant among these is the central position members have assumed in the $25 Million NHMRC Partnership Centre on Dealing with Cognitive and Related Functional Decline in Older People.