The Dementia-friendly Kiama Project (Recognised)

The Dementia-friendly Kiama Project began in late 2014 as a partnership between the University of Wollongong (UOW), Dementia Australia (formerly Alzheimer’s Australia) and Kiama Council. The project has worked continuously to implement and test various strategies to improve the dementia inclusiveness of the Kiama local government area.

Prior to the COVID pandemic restrictions being implemented during 2020, the project activities had ranged from informal ‘pop-up’ engagement and education stalls at local shopping centres and markets, through to informal social support for people & families living with dementia, plus community & formal dementia education and awareness sessions.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the Dementia-friendly Kiama Project has adopted a different direction in engaging with the community in the form of on-line communication via Zoom conferencing; to maintain a continued connection with people living with dementia (PLWD) and their care partners.
As a result, weekly social Zoom meetings are being conducted on-line. In addition to the monthly Alliance meetings (also via Zoom). Promotion has taken place utilising community networks to encourage more community members to join the sessions.
We are facing new ways of virtual communication in assisting people who may not have the expertise in computer technology and providing support and encouragement to engage.
Also looking at adapting and developing our educational resources via the same media of Zoom to continue the work already underway which previously was face-to-face.
More recently representatives from Alzheimer’s Singapore’s Kebun Baru district have been regular attendees. Post-COVID this will provide an additional platform of communication which will offer a wider opportunity to expand our coverage not only locally and nationally, but also internationally when face to face meetings re-commence.

The project is structured around two main groups:
1. The Dementia Friendly Alliance, which is a coalition of people with dementia, representatives from local community organisations, representatives from the UOW, Kiama Council, plus other individual residents with an interest in dementia, and some local businesses. This ensures a whole of community approach is achieved.
2. The Dementia Advisory Group is made up of PLWD and their care partners or supporters. The Advisory Group’s role is to ensure that all project work is a priority of PLWD living in our community, and that PLWD are at the heart of the project. The members’ catch phrase is … “Nothing about us without us”*.

* taken from the Southern Dag website. 

Address

Kiama NSW 2533
Australia

Contact name
Michael Preston
Phone number