Harden is working toward becoming a dementia friendly community

Picture: by Jody Potts -Some of the group who attended the Hard Rock Gym last Wednesday to learn about Dementia Friendly communities

Article by  JODY POTTS - Harden Murrumburrah Express, Harden

MEMBERS of the Harden Murrumburrah Community gathered at the Hard Rock Gym in Harden last Wednesday to take part in a community awareness event, teaching about ‘dementia friendly communities’ and becoming a ‘dementia friend.’

The Australian Bureau of Statistics states that there are currently an estimated 425,416 Australians living with dementia and without a medical breakthrough, this number could increase to 536,164 by 2025 and 1,000,890 by 2056.

Dementia Australia is working toward educating people about dementia and the diseases that may cause it, including Vascular Dementia (stroke) and Alzheimer’s disease.

But on Wednesday, Dementia Australia representative, Libby Smith was working toward getting the message out about helping people who live with dementia to remain included, accepted and connected with their community.

“I was extremely pleased with the number of people who attended from the Harden Murrumburrah community and the fact that they want to learn more about dementia and helping people who are living with the condition. “Ms Smith said.

Event organiser, Don Jamieson said he was delighted with the turnout for the forum and thanked the Hard Rock Gym for hosting it. “This event was successful beyond my expectations,” Mr Jamieson said. “It goes to show what a caring community we have.”

Local Harden man, Clive Smith, said he learned a lot on the day and was very glad he attended.

“This forum gave me a much greater understanding of dementia and an awareness of how to relate to people living with dementia and their families.” Mr Smith said. “People with dementia are just that – people. We need to treat them with respect and understanding.”

A coffee and chat group for people living with dementia, their carers and family members is held on the first

Wednesday of the month at Jackson’s Bakery in Harden, between 10 am and 12 pm. To RSVP, contact Libby Smith on 6241 0881 or email Libby.Smith@dementia.org.au.

To learn more about becoming a ‘Dementia Friend’ or building a dementia friendly community, visit their website: www.dementiafriendly.org.au