Daughter's viral TikTok shows tragic reality faced by 400,000 Australians

Jade Mead's video highlights the heartbreaking reality that looms for many older Aussies.

Meeting someone new is a once-in-a-lifetime moment — you don't get another chance at a first impression.

Yet for thousands of Australians living with dementia, a first encounter can be repeated time and time again, pulling families through the "beautiful" and "cruel" cycle of these never ending introductions.

While collecting her mum in Perth last week, Jade Mead recorded the moment the 65-year-old excitedly spotted the children in the backseat of her car, later posting the endearing but gut-wrenching clip on TikTok.

"It can be very emotionally draining having to explain the same things and answer the same questions to her every time," Jade told Yahoo News Australia. "She forgets I have children."

Left, Jade's mum who has dementia can be seen looking at the children in the backseat of the car. Right, Jade is out for a coastal walk with her pram.
Perth woman Jade Mead reintroduces her mum to her children every time they meet. Source: TikTok/Instagram

Jade's two daughters, 3-year-old Marli and 7-week-old Lottie, are introduced to "nanny" in the video who asks Jade whether the children are hers. She wonders aloud if she already knew that she was a grandparent and had already met the baby.

"Well you did, but you would have forgot," Jade tells her.

Jade says despite the everyday challenges, she is incredibly "grateful" that her mum is alive and "physically healthy and well", a sentiment thousands of Australian families across the nation who deal with a relative with dementia would no doubt understand.

"I just focus on the positives and remain calm ... She always thanks me for letting her know and reminding her."

Over 400,000 Australians live with dementia

The video was met with a flood of comments, with story after story being shared by other people and their own experience. Despite dementia being around for hundreds of years, it is becoming increasingly more common due to the country's aging population.

The risk of getting dementia increases with age, however, the condition is not a normal part of ageing and over 28,000 Australians live with early onset dementia — with that figure expected to double by 2058.

It is believed that two in three people with dementia are living in the community, according to Dementia Australia.

Left, Jade can be seen posing for a maternity photoshoot wearing a white robe and hat. Right, Jade is smiling wearing sunglasses and a white and green dress.
Jade has two daughters, Marli (3) and seven-week-old Lotti. and Source: Instagram

70 per cent of aged care workers not properly trained, expert says

Despite being the country's second leading cause of death and more than two thirds of residents in aged care homes having moderate to severe cognitive impairment, there is currently no minimum training requirement for carers in these facilities.

"About 70 per cent of people who work in residential aged care are what we call Personal Care Attendants ... there is no requirement that those individuals take any training in what dementia is or even how to care for people with dementia," Professor of Clinical Geropsychology Sunil Bhar told Yahoo.

These carers are responsible for meeting residents' instrumental needs, such as eating, bathing and clothing, yet many are uninformed on the condition and its myriad effects.

"We've come across workers who have said things such as, 'Well surely there's only one kind of dementia'. We know that's not true, there are many kinds," Professor Bhar said.

"There has been a lot of calls from advocacy groups that there should be mandatory training provided to this huge workforce within nursing homes."

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