Locals attended an information session centered around how to care for loved ones who have been diagnosed with dementia at Kempsey Shire Library today.
Kaylene Parker from Dementia Australia, who works within communities to remove the stigma surrounding dementia and helps carers to better understand the dementia diagnosis, presented to locals and demonstrated how communities can become dementia friendly.
With 1700 new cases of dementia diagnosed every week in Australia, Ms Parker said communities need to be more dementia friendly.
“If a community is dementia friendly, it will become an overall more friendly community. We need to look at how we deal with dementia as a diagnosis,” she said.
“Encouraging people to have an awareness of the disease can really make a difference.”
Ms Parker said presenting to communities of any size will improve how dementia is seen, but small communities is where change is seen to take effect.
“In smaller communities, most people know each other and therefore are more likely to be more understanding to individuals with dementia. Shop owners and banks in particular have started to train a staff member to be able to help an individual who has dementia and is confused,” she said.
It is estimated that in 2050 there will be one million people living in Australia who will be diagnosed with dementia.
“We’ve become better at caring for people with dementia and raising awareness, but we still need to work at creating dementia friendly communities,” Ms Parker said.
Kempsey Shire Library held the event in recognition of September being Dementia Awareness Month and pride themselves with offering services to people in the community who need help by creating a space where they ensure everyone is included.
To find out more information about creating a dementia friendly community and how you can make a difference visit www.dementiafriendly.org.au