York tak­ing the lead on de­men­tia

Hills Gazette (Kalamunda) - - NEWS -

Alzheimer’s WA CEO Rhonda Parker, York Shire Pres­i­dent David Wal­lace and Bal­ladong Lodge fa­cil­ity man­ager Sarah New­bon with York coun­cil­lors De­nese Smythe and Jane Ferro. YORK is on its way to be­com­ing one of Aus­tralia’s first de­men­tia-friendly towns.

The De­men­tia Friendly Com­mu­ni­ties project, driven by Alzheimer’s WA, aims to re­duce stigma and fos­ter a com­mu­nity sup­port­ive of peo­ple liv­ing with de­men­tia.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive Rhonda Parker said York peo­ple had em­braced the project with the com­mu­nity spirit of­ten found in coun­try towns.

“I am so heart­ened by the stories I’m hear­ing since the project was in­tro­duced a few months ago, in­clud­ing re­tail staff from the lo­cal IGA who learnt the skills needed to iden­tify and as­sist a lo­cal woman liv­ing with younger on­set de­men­tia who be­came lost in an aisle,” she said.

Res­i­den­tial care fa­cil­ity Bal­ladong Lodge hosted com­mu­nity de­men­tia train­ing work­shops sup­ported by WA Coun­try Health Ser­vice, and York Phar­macy, De­men­tia is the lead­ing cause of death of women in Aus­tralia, and the sec­ond lead­ing cause of death of all Aus­tralians² There is no cure 41,149 peo­ple are liv­ing with de­men­tia in WA This fig­ure is pre­dicted to in­crease to more than 84,000 peo­ple in less than 20 years and al­most 150,000 peo­ple by 2056¹. Sources ¹ NATSEM cal­cu­la­tions us­ing Aus­tralian Bureau of Sta­tis­tics pop­u­la­tion pro­jec­tions ² Aus­tralian Bureau of Sta­tis­tics Botan­i­calia Cafe and IGA par­tic­i­pated in one-on-one train­ing ses­sions at their premises.

York has more peo­ple aged over 65 than the state av­er­age and last year the Shire de­vel­oped an age­friendly com­mu­nity plan.

Cor­po­rate and com­mu­nity ser­vices man­ager Suzie Hasle­hurst said while de­vel­op­ing the plan, Alzheimer’s WA con­tacted the Shire about its project.

“The Shire en­tered into a part­ner­ship with Alzheimer’s WA to pro­mote de­men­tia train­ing for lo­cal busi­nesses and to fa­cil­i­tate the up­grade of pub­lic toi­lets at Avon Park with de­men­tia-friendly sig­nage and colours, which will be un­der­taken dur­ing 2018-19 as part of the Avon Park up­grade,” she said.

Alzheimer’s WA lo­cal rep­re­sen­ta­tive Heather Bates is on the Shire’s ac­cess and in­clu­sion ad­vi­sory com­mit­tee and was in­volved in de­vel­op­ment of a new dis­abil­ity ac­cess and in­clu­sion plan.

Call the Alzheimer’s WA helpline on 1300 66 77 88.

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