Forming Dementia Friendly communities

Making our communities a safe and welcoming place for those suffering with Alzheimer’s has been as focus of Alzheimer’s WA’s groundbreaking Dementia Friendly Communities project.

Alzheimer's Western Australia Chief Executive Officer Rhonda Parker said the project focuses on people becoming more aware of dementia, understanding what happens when a person is living with dementia and learning ways to respond appropriately to help that person maintain a full life.

“With the number of people with dementia in our communities set to rise dramatically over the next 30 years responsive communities are going to be increasingly important,” she said. 

“With 70 per cent of people with dementia living at home it is critical that we provide inclusive and supportive environments.”

Ms Parker said the project would take a collaborative approach across sectors. 

“Dementia friendly communities will take a real partnership approach between business, local government, organisations such as Alzheimer’s WA and members of the community. Creating a dementia friendly WA is a long term goal of Alzheimer’s WA and the West Australian Government,” she said. 

Shire of Collie Chief Executive Officer David Blurton said the development of the Shire of Collie Positive Ageing Plan in 2016 incorporated comments and suggestions received from many service providers and community members to develop an all-encompassing document to enable older members of the Collie community to age safely and healthily. 

ValleyView executive manager Joy Halleron encouraged the community to spend time with the residents at ValleyView, to better understand how they can make a connection to those living with Dementia. 

“We welcome volunteers who think they can connect with our residents living with Dementia and positively impact their well-being. To come along and talk to our residents with no-prejudgment and make a connection,” she said. 

“Alzheimer’s WA are a major support for us at ValleyView with our Regional Residential Dementia Project that we are involved in. It’s all about having an enabling environment that is like home where our residents are treated with dignity and respect.”  

For more information on the Dementia Friendly Communities project go to wa.fightdementia.org.au