Video - How telehealth supports Torres Strait Islanders living with dementia

Using telehealth to support Torres Strait Islander people with dementia (University of Queensland Faculty of Medicine).


[Music and Singing]

Mum Mary: Hello, I’m Mary. I lived with my husband and family in Torres Strait.

Grandson: Hello Grandma. What are you doing?

Mum Mary: Hello. I am waiting for someone to meet me.

Grandson: Who are you going fishing with?

Mum Mary: Ummm… I can’t remember who I am going with.

Voiceover—Mum: Sarah is my sister. We do many things together. I feel bad that I forget her name.

Mum Mary: Ok daughter, I’m going to go home. I’m feeling tired. See you later.

Sister Sarah: Oh Mum, you forgot your bag and line. Your bag and fish. I will grab them for you.

Mum Mary: No, no, no. I’m alright. I will get the bag.

Sister Sarah: But I want to help you.

Sister Sarah: It’s right, it’s right! Hey, hey, it’s my bag!

Sarah: I’ll carry your thongs for you.

Sister Sarah: Alright, I’ll see you. I only wanted to help.

Brother Samu: Grandma Mary, going through the results here, I am concerned about your memory.

If it’s alright with you, I can make an appointment to see the doctor next week.

Dad: Yes, we will wait for next week.

Brother Samu: Ok, thank you. Once you see the GP doctor here, he or she, will refer you to see the big doctor in Cairns.

[ New scene: talking again to family]

Ok family, instead of the specialist doctor coming here, this device we have, this TV here, we use this TV for telehealth.

It means you don’t have to fly to T.I. or to Cairns. The specialist doctor will talk from there and you will talk from here and family. I will be there when you make the appointment with the doctor. So if you don’t understand I can help you answer some questions.

Do you understand what I’m saying?

[Family sitting in the outdoors]

Voiceover—Mum Mary: The doctor thinks that I have dementia. Big word, A bit hard to understand but the doctor explained it properly. Now I understand. When somebody has dementia, the brain doesn’t work properly. It make it hard to think. We need our brain to think clearly, so that we can tell stories to our family.

[Scene with specialist on TV screen and family sitting watching]

Dr Eddy Strivens: Hi everyone. I’m Dr Eddy Strivens, or Eddy, and I’m a specialist doctor down in Cairns, a geriatrician. So a doctor that looks after some of the diseases of getting older.Even when you’ve got memory problems we know that things like traditional diet, lots of fish. We know that things like engaging in community, even things like island dancing, which if I had to design something to really be good for the heart and good for the brain, is absolutely it.

[Scene of preparing food for celebration and church singing]

Voiceover—Mum Mary: We have got a church day celebration here on the island. The woman are making the food. Sissy is a good girl and she has brought me here to help prepare the food ready for my family.

Last updated: August 2022