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Dr. Lyn Phillipson

Associate Professor & Principle Research Fellow

Lyn is an award-winning public health academic involved in research and action to promote aged and dementia friendly communities


A/Prof Lyn Phillipson is an award-winning public health academic who engages in research and action to promote aged and dementia friendly communities. She is known for her community engaged approach to undertaking research with impact. She uses qualitative and participatory methods to work with older people to promote understanding and change in the social, physical and service environments that contribute to their wellbeing. She has particular expertise in working with people with dementia and their care partners, as well as members of culturally and linguistically diverse communities. Finally, Lyn has expertise in the use of social marketing as an action framework to promote health in diverse areas including: dementia friendly communities, dementia risk reduction, dementia help-seeking and service utilisation and cancer help-seeking in CALD communities.In 2018, Lyn was appointed as a World Health Organisation – International Federation on Ageing - Age Friendly Mentor which supports her contribution to the development of global capacity to create Age and Dementia Friendly Environments.Examples of her current research include:- Co-desiGning demeNtia dIagnoSis ANd post-diagnostic CarE (COGNISCANCE) – NHMRC-ARC Boosting Dementia Research Grants/JPND (2019-2020) - Exploring the impact of Consumer Directed Care on people with dementia who are recipients of Home Care Packages (NHMRC-ARC Dementia Development Fellowship) (2016-2019) - Connections for Life with dementia (Global Challenges Keystone, UOW) (2019-2020) - Safe and Just Futures for People living with Dementia in Residential Aged Care (Dementia Research Foundation) (2019) - Promoting Intergenerational Playgroups in Residential Aged Settings (Playgroups NSW, Liveable Communities Grant) (2018-19)


Noticeboard: Australian Unity appoints three executives
Australian Ageing Agenda

November 02, 2018

The World Health Organisation and the International Federation of Ageing has announced the appointment of University of Wollongong dementia expert Dr Lyn Phillipson as an age-friendly mentor under its joint international program.

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Improving respite experience for people with dementia
Aged Care Guide

April 11, 2017

Project leader of ReThink Respite, Dr Lyn Phillipson from the University of Wollongong says gaining access to flexible respite is really important – but it is often difficult for carers to know what is available and to identify services which can really meet their particular needs and those of the person with dementia.

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From law to engineering: university puts dementia focus across disciplines
Australian Ageing Agenda

June 03, 2016

He and Dr Phillipson were working on a project to help the NSW Kiama community become dementia friendly when she brought up the idea of dementia-friendly universities, he said.

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Providers need to consider the barriers to respite use by carers
Australian Ageing Agenda

July 31, 2015

“This is despite the fact that when we survey them, they constantly tell us that respite is one of their critical needs,” Dr Phillipson told Australian Ageing Agenda ahead of her presentation at the Living Well, Dying Well forum, to be hosted by BaptistCare in September.

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Knowledge, help-seeking and efficacy to find respite services: an exploratory study in help-seeking carers of people with dementia in the context of aged care reforms
BMC Geriatrics

2019Research highlights the need for carers of people with dementia to acquire relevant and timely information to assist them to access appropriate respite services. Unfortunately, negative experiences of information-seeking can create additional stress for carers and contribute to delays in up-take, or not using respite services at all.

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Involvement of people with dementia in raising awareness and changing attitudes in a dementia friendly community pilot project
Dementia: The International Journal of Social Research and Practice

2018Low levels of public understanding can contribute to the fear, stigma and social exclusion associated with living with dementia. Dementia friendly communities aim to address this by empowering people with dementia and increasing their social inclusion.

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More Than Talking: A Scoping Review of Innovative Approaches to Qualitative Research Involving People With Dementia
International Journal of Qualitative Methods

2018Participation in qualitative research frequently relies upon recall and verbal expression, which may be difficult for some people with dementia. While the use of arts-based and visual methods are transforming dementia care, exploratory research and evaluation methods have lagged behind with regard to the use of innovative qualitative approaches.

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Associations between help-seeking intentions and stigma in response to the early signs and symptoms of dementia
Aging and Mental Health

2015Most participants indicated they would seek help from a general practitioner (GP) for themselves (82.2%) or for a proxy (78.7%) in response to the scenarios. Whilst only 7.2% indicated they would seek help from no-one, 21.3% would delay seeking help.

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Why carers of people with dementia do not utilise out-of-home respite services
Health and Social Care in the Community

2013While many people with dementia require institutional care, having a co-resident carer improves the likelihood that people can live at home. Although caregiving can have positive aspects, carers still report a high need for respite. Despite this need, the use of respite services for carers of people with dementia is often low.

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Area of Expertise


University of Wollongong : Philosophy

University of New South Wales : Public Health

University of Sydney : Physiotherapy

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