Alzheimer’s Australia has joined with international counterparts to back a new global report on the benefits of creating dementia-friendly communities.
Dementia Friendly Communities: Key Principles and Global Developments, released at the recent Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) Conference in Budapest, details the implementation of dementia-friendly communities across the globe – including in Australia – and the key principles that should underpin them. The report highlights the message that dementia should be everybody’s business.
Alzheimer’s Australia National CEO Carol Bennett said the report explains what dementia-friendly communities are, their benefits and the resources that are available to make a community more dementia-friendly and inclusive.
“It is great to see the Australian dementia-friendly community initiatives showcased in the report,” Ms Bennett said.
“There are numerous programs underway in all seven states across Australia.
“Our consumers have indicated to us that stigma and social isolation continue to be major issues following a diagnosis. People with dementia deserve to live a life of value and purpose in their own communities.
“We need to do more, from a Government level right through to the grass roots level, to ensure all Australian communities are inclusive and friendly, especially for people with dementia.”
Dementia-friendly community initiatives in Australia have included the pilot project in Port Macquarie on the NSW Mid-North Coast, which started in September 2013. The community has really got behind the initiative and 12 business in the Port Macquarie Hastings area have now signed up to work towards becoming dementia-friendly.
Coast Front Realty was the first of the 12 businesses to sign up.
“We felt it was really important… to make it easier for our clients to work with us and we want to make it easier for people with dementia and their carers,” said Sue Jogever, Coast Front Realty Principal and owner.
ADI Chair Glenn Rees said the benefits of making resources available to help make international communities more dementia-friendly are clear.
“Benefits include not only improved access to health and care that are critical to the independence of people with dementia, but also to the everyday things in life such as banks, retail, volunteering, hobbies and leisure activities,” Mr Rees said.
“The outcomes of dementia-friendly projects range widely but all include greater awareness of dementia, improved access to services and respect for the rights of people with dementia.”