Swan Dementia Alliance launches with WA’s largest Dementia Friends session

The city of Swan in Western Australia officially launched the Swan Dementia Alliance during this year’s Dementia Action Week with the state’s largest ever Dementia Friends training session.

More than 80 people attended the event at Ace Cinemas Midland, which included a free community screening of the 2020 film June Again.

All attendees, including Mayor Cr David Lucas, Deputy Mayor Cr Mel Congerton, Cr Patty Jones and Cr Rashelle Predovnick, officially became Dementia Friends after Alliance member and Dementia Friends Host Danielle Criddle presented the training session.

Alliance member Jan O’Shea acknowledged the importance of the event and the steps the city is taking to become more dementia-friendly.

“Those living with dementia are still people. They still have stories and they still have character. They are all individuals and they are all unique. They just need to be interacted with on a human level, and that is the reason we are here today,” Jan said.

“The aim of the Dementia Alliance is working towards a dementia-friendly community – to provide a community where people living with dementia feel safe, valued and acknowledged.”

Importantly, the Swan Dementia Alliance includes two people who are living with dementia, who bring their lived experience and perspectives to the Alliance.

“Their experience and input will help shape meaningful change within the community,” Jan said.

The Swan Valley Forget-Me-Not Café is another key part of the Alliance, providing a warm and inclusive environment for people living with dementia, their families, carers and friends to get together and break down the stigma and isolation so often felt by those impacted by dementia.

These sessions are held twice per month.

Are you interested in what this could look like in your community?

The first step is to become a Dementia Friend. Find out more at dementiafriendly.org.au or call the National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500.