Edie and Anne are a couple from Victoria. Edie is living with younger onset dementia. Edie and Anne are calling for the “more informed” among us to take action and assist in spreading helpful and positive messages to de-stigmatise dementia and create more dementia-friendly communities. And what better way to celebrate than with a big dementia-friendly street party? #ItStartsWithYou
“Significant knowledge and experience related to dementia and the needs of individuals and families impacted, is already contained in our local communities. Individuals who work with people with dementia, organisations offering services such as planned activities, day care, respite care and residential care, aged care facilities and city councils to name a few.
Each year in September, Alzheimer’s Australia and related national and international organisations place a spotlight on dementia through Dementia Awareness Month.
Our question is this – why is it that more people, groups and local organisations with this knowledge and experience don’t use the month to increase awareness of dementia, to help educate the general community, to be willing to give accurate, helpful and up-to-date information?
Before we can successfully introduce dementia-friendly communities into our local areas, don’t we need the more informed amongst us to “come out” and spread helpful and positive messages?
Service providers involved in consumer directed packages should be helping to de-stigmatise dementia by ensuring they become more visible during September. Councils could nominate a special day during the month to recognise those in their community who are impacted by dementia. What about a big dementia street party? And planned activity program co-ordinators could do so much more to publicly advance the cause. It can’t be just left to Alzheimer’s Australia.
We would like to see more people from all walks of life get involved in raising awareness during Dementia Awareness Month. That would be a great step forward towards creating a more dementia-friendly Australia.” – Edie & Anne
Take it to the streets! What a great idea! When my husband and I moved my father from his Wisconsin home of 45 years into our California home, we hosted holiday gatherings for families who walked the road with dementia. It was much easier to start new traditions with like-minded people who didn’t require explaining behaviors resulting from dementia. I'm sad to read Maria's experience... initially, my father was bored. He used to be Mr. Fix It before dementia. But just because he was diagnosed it didn't mean he lost all abilities. So, I thought, HEY, why not? I asked him to fix a broken electrical outlet in the patio that hubby still had not fixed for months. My father fixed that and another one too. Came back into the house beaming with pride. We must focus on the abilities that remain--for our sakes as caregivers/care partners and for our care recipients’. Thank YOU, Ladies for helping to raise awareness. Every step is a step further away from stigma. Brenda Avadian TheCaregiversVoice.com
dementia-friendly neighbourhoods, would be another aim. My dad had dementia, has lived in the same house for 40years. My dad was asked to fix this or that for our neighbours, and dad always willingly obliged. And now, because he has dementia/Alzheimer's he's shunned. People actually avoid him. How sad for us that notice and how sad for these ignorant neighbours. I say ignorant because they have no real idea or awareness of this insidious disease.