Resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities

Help Sheets

A series of help sheets about various dementia topics have been developed to inform Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people about dementia.

What is dementia?

Diagnosing dementia

Information for family

Memory changes

Alzheimer's disease


See a list of useful website resources here.


Watch our videos here.


Stay in touch with news and research in Alzheimer's Australia's Dementia News

Looking out for dementia

A suite of themed resources called "Looking out for Dementia" has been developed to inform Indigenous people living in remote communities of Northern Territory about dementia.

Indigenous dementia resources project - "Looking out for Dementia"

Kimberley Indigenous Cognitive Assessment Tool (KICA)

A joint collaboration between Alzheimer’s Australia NT, University of Western Australia and National Ageing Research Institute, written by Gail Marsh, Marilyn Inglis, Kate Smith and Dina LoGiudice.

Validation of the Kimberley Indigenous Cognitive Assessment Tool (KICA) in Rural and Remote Indigenous Communities of the Northern Territory.

Video developed by italklibrary

Watch the story below, “Love in the Time of Dementia” that was made in collaboration between italklibrary and Carpentaria Disability Services. This story seeks to inform Indigenous communities about caring for family members who have dementia.

Worried About Your Memory

This is a community resource filmed in Coffs Harbour aimed at raising awareness of dementia. The DVD includes three short scenarios outlining risk reduction and what to do if people are worried about their own or someone else’s memory. Special target groups are younger people and the local Aboriginal community.

Walkabout Memories

This short DVD was filmed by Steve MacDonald of Life and Times and people from the Gumbaynggirr community volunteered their time to act in the film. The film goes for about 5 minutes and is recorded in an interview format with family members talking about dementia and what can be done to help.

You’re Not Alone: Discussing Dementia – Episode 6: Losing the Dreaming

A resource for carers of people living with dementia in the Aboriginal Community. The short film features Birpai Elder Uncle Bill O'Brien discussing his experience of caring for his mother, who had dementia. The resource will be freely available to help carers of people with dementia. Importantly, it emphasises the help that is available and that people are not alone on this journey.

The Fading Moon: A Dementia Resource for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities [DVD]

DVD cover

This DVD was produced to raise awareness about the experiences of Indigenous carers who provide support to family members or friends with dementia. The DVD features the personal stories of carers, and also includes commentary from people working in the dementia field, such as Professor Tony Broe. The DVD consists of five chapters, each of which can be shown individually or collectively:

  • what is dementia
  • how dementia shows up (warning signs)
  • diagnosis
  • the impact (symptoms)
  • carers and support.

To view the Fading Moon on YouTube, please follow this link.


The brain painting: “the snake eating away the life of your memory”. Memory problems (Dementia) are caused by damage to the brain, 2013

This poster was designed to raise awareness about dementia among Aboriginal people. To relate the effects of dementia to an Aboriginal audience, the poster uses traditional dot painting to show a snake inside the brain, whereby the snake is said to be eating away a person's memory. The poster explains the risk factors for dementia and highlights some of the signs of dementia. The poster was developed as part of the Indigenous dementia services study by a project officer involved in the study. To view the poster, please visit:

Working with older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, 2013

This Briefing presents evidence from research to guide mainstream community aged care organisations and practitioners on working in a respectful and culturally sensitive manner with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. It aims to help enhance the quality of care by ensuring it is underpinned by reflection, knowledge, understanding and respect. However, this Briefing should not be understood as a universal set of protocols, nor as a prescription for care, as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures are complex and extremely diverse, and accepted protocols vary across communities.

The Briefing was prepared by Sharon Wall and the Koori Growing Old Well Study Project Team at Neuroscience Research Australia, in partnership with The Benevolent Society.

Look After Your Brain, A Guide to Dementia for Aboriginal People Booklet and Poster, 2012

Look after your brain

This booklet has been produced for Aboriginal people who have dementia, or who have family members with dementia. It provides information to help those touched by dementia to appropriately manage the illness. The contents covered in the booklet includes:

  • what is dementia
  • what are the signs of dementia
  • what are the causes of dementia
  • how to reduce chances of getting dementia
  • caring for someone living with dementia
  • seeking help.

The booklet includes photographs, artwork, and wording that is culturally appropriate for the target audience.

Aboriginal carers support guide: information for Aboriginal families who are caring for an older person or a person with a disability, 2011


This leaflet has been developed for Aboriginal people who provide care for an older person or someone with a serious illness or disability. It provides information on how to feel good and keep well while providing ongoing care for a family member or friend. The leaflet also includes a list of organisations that provide information and support services for Aboriginal carers.

Older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, 2011.

This report describes the age and geographic distribution of the older Indigenous population, its particular requirements in terms of aged care and support, and the pattern of usage of these services. At the 2006 Census, there were approximately 60,000 Indigenous Australians aged 50 years and over, accounting for about 12% of the total Indigenous population. By comparison, 31% of the non-Indigenous population fell into this age group. However, the number of older Indigenous people is growing and estimated at 76,300 in 2011. Older Indigenous people have poorer health and higher rates if disability than other Australians in the same age group.

Report of the National Indigenous Forum on Dementia, 2007 

A two day National Indigenous Dementia Workshop was held in November 2006 with over thirty participants to discuss whether the issue of dementia is a sufficient priority for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to take action and to determine what that action might be.

Dementia: A Major Health Problem for Indigenous People, 2006 

Research in the Kimberley region suggests that the prevalence rates of dementia among remote and rural Indigenous people could be 4-5 times higher than those in the Australian community generally. Research is needed in respect of those Indigenous people living in urban areas.

Research based publications 

HACC Service Models for Younger Onset Dementia & People with Dementia and Behaviours of Concern: Issues for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People and People from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Backgrounds  

Date: February 2008 
Authors: Alt. Beatty Consulting for Community Care (Northern Beaches) Inc on behalf of NSW Department of Ageing, Disability and Home Care. 

Abstract: This report presents findings of consultations with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People and People from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Backgrounds in the Metro North Region of Sydney. The consultations were held to assess the cultural appropriateness and relevance of recommendations of the report, Appropriate HACC Service Models for People with Younger Onset Dementia & People with Dementia and Behaviours of Concern.  

NSW Department of Ageing, Disability & Homecare

Dementia Learning Resource for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities 2nd Edition.

The Dementia Learning Resource for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities is a culturally specific training resource for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities which aims to equip Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and community workers with the appropriate skills and information to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with dementia and their carers.

To order Dementia Learning Resource for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities please contact The Department of Health - National Mailing and Marketing on (02) 6269 1000 oremail

Kimberly Indigenous Cognitive Assessment

The Kimberley Indigenous Cognitive Assessment (KICA) was developed in response to the need for a validated cognitive screening tool for older Indigenous Australians living in rural and remote areas.


KICA-Screen (short version of the KICA-Cog)

KICA Pictures - Dog (optional)

KICA Pictures - Horse (optional)

KICA Instruction Booklet

KICA Report and Dementia Checklist

KICA Instructional DVD (70MB AVI file)  

Credit: KICA was developed by the Western Australia Centre for Health & Ageing

Kimberly Indigenous Cognitive Assessment (KICA) - Victoria

A study is currently being undertaken in Victoria to validate a modified version of the KICA in Indigenous people aged 50 years and over residing in a regional (Mildura) and suburban (Brunswick) area. The project is being conducted by Dr Dina LoGiudice, Professor Stephen Gibson, and John Price from Alzheimer's Australia.

Details regarding this initiative can be viewed by downloading the report and attachments listed below.

Indigenous Cognitive Assessment - Modification and Validation of the KICA in Victoria. Phase 1. Final Report, February 2013

KICA - Phase 1 - Report of focus group consultations (Final) with AAV Additional

KICA Delphi Questionnaire - Scores and Comments

KICA Regional Urban (Cognitive section only)

KICA Regional Urban Pictures - updated

KICA Regional Urban Pictures - Alternate guitar picture set to replace boomerang