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11th International Conference on Frontotemporal Dementias

11th International Conference on Frontotemporal Dementias11-14 November 2018 | International Convention Centre Sydney | Australia

Changing our response to changed behaviour in FTD syndromes

 If you want to register for the Pre-Conference Workshop/s only, please click the button below

Pre-Conference Workshop/s Registration

*Please note this Registration Form is only for the Pre-Conference Workshops for the ICFTD 2018 Conference. If you wish to register for the conference as well please use this link and you can register for the Workshops within your main registration. 


Date: Sunday, 11 November 2018
Time: 1.00pm - 4.00pm
Location: Brain and Mind Centre, University of Sydney (94 Mallett Street, Camperdown NSW 2050)

Changing our response to changed behaviour in FTD syndromes

To date, many workshops on behaviour in dementia have been very Alzheimer’s Disease-centric and have continued to perpetuate the myth that all behaviour from people with dementia is their way of communicating an ‘unmet need’. However this is not entirely representative of all types/stages of dementia and therefore creates an unrealistic expectation that all symptoms should be modifiable.

This compounds the pressure already felt by caregivers and health professionals to be able to “fix” all of these symptoms and often leads to caregiver distress, over-use of medication and inappropriate interventions/restrictions for the person with dementia.

The study of focal-onset dementia syndromes such as Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD), has significantly advanced our knowledge of neural networks and the direct correlation between discreet areas of brain degeneration/damage and their specific impacts on thinking, emotional regulation and behavioural expression.

This workshop will aim to present a more balanced and practical approach to living and working with people who have FTD; helping participants distinguish between symptoms that may be modifiable  or amenable to intervention and those brain-damage related symptoms that may instead require a change in our understanding/expectations as family members and care providers.

This workshop will be suitable for those directly involved in care provision and support for people with FTD (including family caregivers, clinicians/allied health professionals and care workers)

This 3 hour workshop will cover:

  • Brain /behaviour links based on latest functional imaging and social cognition studies in FTD
  • Case study presentations based on real individuals with various FTD symptoms and how their families and care teams were able to respond with positive outcomes
  • Strategies for engaging people with FTD
  • Overview of relevant support services
  • Appropriate use of medication in FTD
  • New symptom management interventions based on latest FTD research

The workshop will offer a combination of presentations (including relevant data blitz presentations selected from the ICFTD), case studies and interactive Q&A sessions.

Light afternoon tea will be provided

Further information about sessions/speakers for this workshop will be released by the end of August 2018

Numbers will be strictly limited so register early.



Ms Melissa Kettle, Cognition Nurse Consultant (Eastern Cognitive Disorders Clinic)

Melissa has worked with the Eastern Cognitive Disorders Clinic in Melbourne Australia for over 10 years. This clinic specialises in the diagnosis and ongoing management of FTD syndromes. In this role, she helped to establish the first FTD Carer Support groups in Australia. Melissa was also the National Coordinator for the Australian FTD Association until February 2018. Prior to this, she was a Behaviour Consultant and Victorian State Manager for the Dementia Behaviour Management Advisory Service, during which time she commissioned/co-authored the FTD Toolkit (


Dr Melissa Abela, Dementia Consultant (Dementia Support Australia)

Melissa has a doctorate in Exercise and Sport Science and is also a registered Occupational Therapist. She currently works with Dementia Support Australia as a Dementia Care Consultant. This role specialises in providing psychosocial recommendations for The Dementia Behaviour Management Advisory Service (DBMAS) and Severe Behaviour Response Team (SBRT).  These services aim to improve the quality of life and care for people with dementia and their caregivers, assist and support aged care providers in improving care for people with dementia and related behaviours and ensure care services for people with dementia are responsive to their individual and diverse needs and circumstances. She is also collaborating with key researchers at the Dementia Collaborative Research Centre to update the resource, “Behaviour Management: A guide to good practice”.


Mr Adrian Vernon, Dementia Consultant (Dementia Support Australia)

Adrian has worked as a Consultant for the Dementia Behaviour Management Advisory Service for the past three years, including in rural and remote Australia. Prior to this he gained valuable experience working with people living with dementia as an Occupational Therapist in New Jersey, USA. Adrian has a passion for understanding and addressing the impact of behaviours in dementia and providing practical psychosocial support to health professionals, care workers and family carers.


Dr Sally Day, Project Manager COPE Project (University of Sydney)

Sally is a registered Occupational Therapist and has a Masters in Public Health. She has extensive experience working in health and aged care in Australia and the UK and is currently working on the COPE Australia research project. COPE (Care Of People with dementia in their Environments) is an occupational therapy and nursing program for people living with dementia and their family carers. Sally is passionate about both supporting people living with dementia and their families and about promoting the role that occupational therapists can play in providing comprehensive, dementia specific assessment and intervention in the community​.