24-hour help 1800 699 799
Make a referral
Make a referral


Dementia Support Australia has partnered with the Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre to create a free national program of online learning, a community of practice and face-to-face coaching called DREAM (Dementia Respite Education and Mentoring). 

Find out more

Dementia Support Australia in partnership with the Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre

wicking logo


The Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre was established in 2008 and continues to lead the way in dementia research and education. The Centre’s mission is to transform the understanding of dementia worldwide and to improve the lives of people living with dementia and their caregivers.

The Centre aims to:

  • Better understand the diseases affecting the brain that cause progressive decline in function affecting memory, problem solving skills, function and social behaviour.
  • Develop evidence-based models of care provision for people with dementia and their carers.
  • Determine how to reduce risk of dementia by building resilience through ageing.
  • Provide educational programs to build knowledge and understanding of dementia within the community.

Learn more


Who is DREAM for?

DREAM aims to boost the capability of the aged care workforce to deliver quality dementia respite care. The aged care workforce can access the tailored online portal that supports integrated learning and professional development.


What does DREAM include?

Find out more
  • Dementia support coaches: Industry experts who can provide tailored assistance to help you put your dementia knowledge into practice.  
  • Community of practice: An online community to seek further guidance or discuss and share ideas with peers and dementia respite experts. 
  • Education:  Five specialised modules focusing on dementia respite care, plus the Wicking Centre’s Understanding Dementia MOOC and EQUIP Aged Care Learning modules.

Frequently Asked Questions

DREAM is for anyone working in dementia respite care.

This can include direct care staff and nursing staff but also people providing support services – hospitality and maintenance staff – as well as management and even volunteers. It is for anyone who wants to improve their service and assistance to people in respite care who are living with dementia.

Note that DREAM is intended to help with challenges and issues experienced by dementia respite workers rather than the individuals who are living with dementia. For anything related to a particular individual and their needs and behaviours, other DSA services would be a better match.

You can access the DREAM portal at https://dream.utas.edu.au.

Use the “sign up now” button to register. This will give you access to all three aspects of the DREAM Project, designed to support anyone working in the field of dementia respite care:

  1. Online Education: The DREAM portal provides access to free online education specific to supporting a person with dementia in a respite setting.
  2. Coaching: The DREAM portal provides a point of contact for coaching services for dementia respite staff. This can be provided for individuals or groups by phone or online, or in certain instances, face-to-face.
  3. Community of Practice: The Community of Practice provides an online opportunity to connect with others in the dementia respite field and access information, ideas and expertise. As well as interaction with peers, it provides helpful articles and tips, and a place to exchange ideas and evidence based practice. 

The DREAM coaches can help in a range of different ways, including onsite sessions.

Onsite delivery can be an excellent option for groups. Our coaching approach is very interactive in order to build on existing knowledge and experience, so groups of eight or less work best.

Online video calls are another popular option for DREAM coaching sessions, either one-on-one or with groups. The flexibility and accessibility of video calls can work well for coaches and participants and give the coaching service greater reach. They can also be an excellent option for follow-up sessions and contact.

Phone calls can also be a great way to connect. A quick phone call with an immediate conversation can give you the input you need to make a key improvement. Coaches can also help direct you to excellent sources of further information.

Feel free to discuss the best options with your coach, once you are in touch.

The respite care you provide is a crucial part of providing quality of life to people living with dementia and their carers. Breaks for carers allow them to carry on in that role, and this can greatly extend a person’s time living in their own home or community.

For people living with dementia, there are often extra challenges in entering and settling into respite care, which can affect their initial entry into respite services and their likelihood of return visits.

The DREAM Project aims to support respite care workers to overcome any extra challenges they are experiencing in caring for people with dementia. By working together to improve respite care for people living with dementia, we can open up access to these life-changing services.

Expert support is here, whenever you need it

Call us now on 1800 699 799