31 October 2017
Committed Dementia Advocate Alan Gravolin has been named NSW Carer of the Year by the NSW Government.
Alan was recognised not only for his ongoing dedication to the care of his wife Lyn, who is living with younger onset dementia, but also his support of other carers and his commitment to raising awareness of the condition amongst the community.
Kale Stokes, Executive Director Consumer Engagement, Policy and Research at Dementia Australia said Alan’s story is a wonderful example of the commitment thousands of Australians are currently making to caring for people living with dementia.
“Alan’s determination to ensure his wife Lyn was able to maintain a good quality of life following diagnosis is admirable. This commitment meant Lyn was able to remain at home for as long as possible, before eventually moving into full time residential care,” Ms. Stokes said.
“Alan has also actively nurtured Lyn’s passion for art, enabling her to continue to enjoy this important aspect of her life.”
“Equally, Alan’s work supporting other carers in the community and his willingness to get involved in advocacy work for our organisation in his role as Dementia Advocate are to be commended.”
“With an estimated 413,000 people living currently with dementia in Australia, a figure that is expected to grow to more than 1.1 million people by 2056, the incredible work of carers in our community is going to become increasingly important. On behalf of everybody at Dementia Australia, I would like to thank Alan and congratulate him on this much-deserved recognition.”
Outside of his caring role, Alan has been a Lifeline counsellor and a coach in the Stronger Carers program, a support group which aims to equip carers with coping mechanisms and tips to help them manage their role more effectively.
In addition, his work with the Dementia Advocates program at Dementia Australia has seen him assist internal and external stakeholders to understand the nature of dementia and what the caring role involves.
The NSW Carers Awards aim to recognise the contribution of unpaid carers in the community. Alan was presented with his award by the Minister for Disability Services, Ray Williams at a special ceremony during National Carers Week.
Mr Williams said Alan is an outstanding carer who is an advocate and mentor.
“The NSW Government recognises the efforts of more than 905,000 carers in the state who provide unpaid support to members of our community with disability, chronic illness, mental illness, dementia or frail age,” Mr Williams said.
Mr Gravolin said he appreciated the award and hopes it will help raise awareness of carers in the community.
“It is an honour to receive this award which recognises the remarkable work of carers,” Mr Gravolin said
“The NSW Carers Awards help to shed light on the important role of carers in the community and I encourage other carers to reach out and find support.”