In 2023, data from Dementia Australia shows an estimated 1.5 million people in Australia are involved in the care of someone living with dementia.
Coping with the diagnosis and managing the complexities of dementia can be challenging for patients, as well as their families and carers.
The My Health Journal aims to help reduce some of these challenges by assisting patients to communicate their health needs, preferences and values with their health care professionals.
Developed through intensive community consultation and trials, the journal has been designed for patients with mild to moderate symptoms of dementia who still reside within the community.
What are the benefits of the My Health Journal?
Dementia patients and their support networks all agreed — sifting through the overwhelming amount of available information is an added challenge. With this in mind, My Health Journal provides a structured, easy-to-use format to organise and access crucial details.
The journal can help patients to:
- make notes before, during and after appointments with their GP
- access helpful advice and contacts on seeking information on living with dementia
- access local support networks close by to their home (including networks for carers and family)
- keep a detailed record about their current medications
- keep prescriptions and any other important documents in a handy pocket.
The benefits of using the My Health Journal are multifaceted. For patients, it's a lifeline to maintain a sense of independence and continuity in their lives. It helps in keeping track of medical appointments, allowing for timely interventions and reducing the risk of missed consultations. This can lead to better management of dementia-related symptoms and an improved quality of life.
Families and carers also find value in the My Health Journal — it simplifies their responsibilities by centralising essential information and making it easily accessible.
One carer for her mother who has dementia said, ‘The My Health Journal has been such a simple yet effective little thing in our household. I can quickly find info about mum's appointments, medications, and support services. It relieves some of the stress associated with caregiving.’
How can GPs and other health care providers use the journal?
My Health Journal has been developed to help people better prepare for and get the most out of appointments with doctors and health professionals. This resource puts individuals at the centre of their care, with space to write down important notes, concerns or questions before, during and after appointments. GPs can contribute by writing notes directly in the journal, offering advice, recommendations, and insights tailored to the patient’s unique needs. Jointly recorded interactions help to foster a sense of community and shared responsibility in managing dementia.
Over 950 journals have already been distributed to local general practices, dementia services, healthy ageing hubs and other services to support older people who have been diagnosed within the early stages of dementia.
My Health Journal is making a small but real difference in helping empower people to continue to lead connected, fulfilling lives in the community.
Get your free copy of My Health Journal
We can post a journal to you free of charge. Bulk orders can also be placed by general practices, community centres, and other health service providers.
To order the journal, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject: My Health Journal