De­men­tia-friendly cafe

Southern Telegraph - - News - Ce­cilia Allen

Peo­ple liv­ing with de­men­tia will have ac­cess to more sup­port ser­vices with the for­ma­tion of a “mem­ory cafe” in Rock­ing­ham.

The Drop in the Ocean Mem­ory Cafe is a part­ner­ship be­tween the City of Rock­ing­ham, Alzheimer’s WA, and Rock­ing­ham and Dis­tricts Alzheimer’s WA Inc.

A mem­ory cafe is a so­cial gath­er­ing place for peo­ple with de­men­tia and their car­ers.

Staff are trained to un­der­stand how to in­ter­act with peo­ple liv­ing with de­men­tia.

City of Rock­ing­ham Mayor Barry Sam­mels said the mem­ory cafe of­fered an op­por­tu­nity for peo­ple liv­ing with de­men­tia and their car­ers to come to­gether in a so­cial con­text, con­nect with oth­ers in a sim­i­lar sit­u­a­tion and cre­ate new net­works based on shared un­der­stat­ing of their cir­cum­stances.

“The City is com­mit­ted to mak­ing Rock­ing­ham more age and de­men­tia-friendly,” he said.

More than 60 peo­ple at­tended the first Drop in the Ocean Mem­ory Cafe at the Clip­per Cafe on April 16, with hosts and de­men­tia ad­vo­cates Laraine Civin and Ron­nie Bald­win hail­ing the event a suc­cess.

“We were part of an 18month course de­liv­ered by Alzheimer’s WA once a month and when that course ended a core group of us wanted to con­tinue meet­ing,” Mrs Civin said.

Jean Freind, who es­tab­lished Rock­ing­ham and Dis­tricts Alzheimer’s WA Inc in 1984, said it was vi­tal peo­ple liv­ing with de­men­tia had th­ese kinds of sup­port ser­vices.

“The main pur­pose of es­tab­lish­ing Rock­ing­ham and Dis­tricts Alzheimer’s WA Inc was to pro­vide sup­port and ed­u­ca­tion for peo­ple with Alzheimer’s and their loved ones,” she said.

“There was very lit­tle ed­u­ca­tion back then but thank­fully things have changed a lot.”

Alzheimer’s WA chief ex­ecu- tive Rhonda Parker said there were 41,000 peo­ple across WA liv­ing with de­men­tia and about 70 per cent of those peo­ple lived at home and wanted to en­gage in the com­mu­nity.

The Drop in the Ocean Mem­ory Cafe will take place on the third Mon­day of each month from 10am-noon at Clip­per Cafe.

The City is also launch­ing the Rock­ing­ham Alzheimer’s and De­men­tia Walk­ing Group.

Re­bekka Jarvis, Laraine Civin, Jean Freind, Ron­nie Bald­win, and Liz Lord have hailed Rock­ing­ham’s first Mem­ory Cafe event a suc­cess.

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