WHEN Cynthia Hoogstraten's father was diagnosed with dementia her life changed forever.
Thrust into the role of carer last year Ms Hoogstraten said she now had an insatiable thirst for knowledge on anything related to dementia.
"I have been studying dementia to understand what my father was going through," she said.
"I didn't understand what was happening to him but now I understand what is happening to his brain."
Ms Hoogstraten said people with dementia still maintained their personalities.
"My father is still himself even if it is clouded by dementia," she said.
Ms Hoogstraten said people with dementia still had the capacity to contribute to their community.
"One of the first things that happen when someone has that diagnosis is that people want to take away their decision making," she said.
"But we should be helping them to make decisions, not taking it away from them completely."
Ms Hoogstraten said more was needed to be done to address the issue here in Bundaberg.
"Because we have so many people now having to care for their parents," she said.
"I would like a one-stop shop in Bundaberg for people who have concerns, whether they are carers or feel they are at risk."