So­cial co­he­sion

Fremantle Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

Break­ing iso­la­tion and form­ing new friend­ships is the goal be­hind a new pro­gram tar­geted at Brae­mar House res­i­dents liv­ing with de­men­tia.

BRAE­MAR House res­i­dents with high-level de­men­tia needs are part of a new pro­gram to help them build friend­ships and dis­pel iso­la­tion.

The Lee House Fam­ily Tree in­vited res­i­dents from the East Fre­man­tle cen­tre’s spe­cial­ist care ser­vice to put up a photo about them­selves along­side a brief story about who they were.

Res­i­dents from the wider Brae­mar House com­mu­nity were then able to chose a pen pal from the tree, some­one new who they could write to and get to­gether with for ca­sual catch ups or morn­ing tea.

Brae­mar chief ex­ec­u­tive Wayne Belcher said the project was a way to build in­clu­sive­ness amongst their res­i­dents, re­gard­less of a per­son’s con­di­tion.

“We want to help cre­ate bonds and re­la­tion­ships be­tween those in the more se­cure part of the fa­cil­ity and those who are not af­fected by de­men­tia, re­sult­ing in a bet­ter en­vi­ron­ment for every­one and re­duc­ing the stigma as­so­ci­ated with de­men­tia,” he said.

“When res­i­dents said they wanted to bet­ter un­der­stand and in­ter­act with their neigh­bours at Brae­mar House, our team worked closely with the res­i­dents to es­tab­lish an en­gag­ing pro­gram to fa­cil­i­tate this re­quest.

“De­men­tia is some­thing we must fo­cus on each day of the year and I am grate­ful that last month the na­tional spot­light was fo­cused on de­men­tia, al­low­ing for a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing that peo­ple with de­men­tia are valu­able mem­bers of our com­mu­nity.”

Pic­ture: Martin Ken­nealey www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d475164

Brae­mar res­i­dents Mary Saun­ders and Jose Garces.

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