The deadline for Expressions of interest for the next round of Dementia-Friendly Community grants has been extended to 30 April 2020.
Due to the challenges posed by the current coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, we do not envisage that dementia-friendly projects will now fit neatly within the 2020-21 financial year, though they will still be funded for 12-months only. We will work with successful applicants on an individual basis to agree sensible start times and develop realistic work plans.
The Dementia Australia team recently visited a previous recipient of a dementia-friendly community grant in Kiama in New South Wales.
During the visit the team were impressed with the ongoing commitment and resourcing from Kiama Municipal Council and University of Wollongong, as well as businesses and community groups, to continuously improve the community’s inclusiveness of people living with dementia, their families and carers.
Kiama is a flagship example of what can be achieved with time, enthusiasm and commitment from all parties.
Forming in 2014 as a partnership between Dementia Australia, the University of Wollongong and Kiama Municipal Council, the Dementia-Friendly Kiama Project has led to a number of social inclusion activities and a shift in community attitudes.
A survey of community members, held two years apart, showed an improvement for sentiments about whether people living with dementia are able to participate in a wide variety of activities, and that it was easy to find out about dementia-friendly services or organisations in Kiama.
Project activities also include education and awareness-raising activities for more than 1,000 people in the area and have been shown to improve inclusiveness of people living with dementia.
Ongoing social activities include dancing with dementia, iPod donations so people can listen to their favourite songs and reminisce, and an animal kinship program with virtual pets for people living with dementia, along with continuous community education.
Research has also been a strong focus, with the University of Wollongong conducting interviews and mapping exercises with people living with dementia and their carers; community and business surveys; and the development of an environmental assessment tool to audit public buildings.
All of this effort has shifted community sentiment and the project has been recognised for its contribution to a more inclusive and dementia-friendly community.
To find out more we have developed this short video about the Dementia-Friendly Kiama Project.