Dementia Australia was delighted when Federal Minister for Aged Care, The Hon. Ken Wyatt MP, recently signed up to become a Dementia Friend, while encouraging other Members of Parliament around the country to do the same.
Politicians from all parties and around the country have been joining Dementia Friends.
NSW Premier The Hon. Gladys Berejiklian MP, announced that she had signed up to become a Dementia Friend at our recent Parliamentary Friends of Dementia event at NSW Parliament House. The event was attended by Members of Parliament from all parties, people living with dementia and their carers.
Other politicians to have joined the Dementia Friends social movement include: Tasmanian Senator Helen Polley; NSW Parliamentary Friends of Dementia Co-convenors The Hon. Leslie Williams MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Regional and Rural Health Member for Port Macquarie and Kate Washington MP, Acting Shadow Minister for Ageing and Disabilities, Member for Port Stephens; The Hon. Martin Foley MP, Victorian Minister for Housing, Disability and Ageing.; Victorian Parliamentary Friends of Dementia Co-convenors Gabrielle Williams MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Health, Parliamentary Secretary for Carers and Volunteers, Member for Dandenong and Emma Kealy MP, Shadow Minister for Senior Victorians, Member for Lowan.
Dementia Australia CEO Maree McCabe said Australians living with dementia, their families and carers would be heartened to hear the Parliamentarians are showing their support.
Our Dementia Friends program is a free online learning tool which helps participants to increase their understanding of dementia and be inspired to learn how they can better support the people around them in their community who are impacted. We are hoping to sign up as many Dementia Friends nationwide as possible.
“We encourage all politicians, and business and community leaders, to register through the online module to learn how they can become a Dementia Friend and join this social movement that aims to transform the way our nation thinks, acts and talks about dementia,” Ms McCabe said.
If you haven’t already, you can register to become a Dementia Friend at www.dementiafriendly.org.au.
The Dementia Australia Dementia Friends program has been developed in consultation with the Dementia Australia Dementia-Friendly Communities Advisory Group comprising people living with dementia and carers as members.
The Dementia Australia Dementia Friends program has been funded by the Federal Government.
Reality or rhetoric? I'd be interested to know exactly what the named politicians, especially Federal Minister for Aged Care, The Hon Ken Bryant MP have done, or are planning to do, to EARN the right to call themselves (in non patronising terms) Dementia Friends? For example, dementia specific education is available online but which, of those named above, have taken the time to access said education? To my mind, being a Dementia Friend should, at the very least mean each of the above will, from now on, make it his or her business to become an informed advocate for people affected by dementia. I'm fed up with rhetoric, talk is easy, let's have some real, life changing actions. If you want some inspiring examples of politicians who are real dementia friends, check out the Queensland Dementia Friendly towns of Charleville (Mayor), Inglewood and Texas (local councillor) and St George (Deputy Mayor). These local politicians all attended dementia awareness education, in person. Ever since they have worked with their local communities to make their towns places where a person affected by dementia can live a rewarding life at home, supported by their family, neighbours and dementia friendly, social groups and local businesses.