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knowledge and local people and, most
importantly, it must involve local people
living with dementia and their carers.”
Supporting the launch of the guide and
in keeping with the Dementia Awareness
Month theme Creating a Dementia-
Friendly Nation, AlzNSW welcomed
visiting UK dementia expert Steve Milton
Steve, Director of Innovations in
Dementia in the UK, started his national
lecture tour in Sydney, speaking about
the dementia-friendly work that has
evolved in the UK and helped launch the
guide during his visit to Port Macquarie.
Steve says that by creating
dementia-friendly communities in
Australia, it will help to reduce the
social isolation that too often comes
with a diagnosis of dementia.
“T here are simple improvements that
can be made in communities to make
people with dementia feel more engaged
in community life,” Steve said.
“For example, a dementia-friendly
bank could have staff identified who have
had dementia training and can provide
better service to people with a cognitive
impairment; a dementia-friendly retail
store could examine their signage and
layout to ensure it is meeting the needs
of people with dementia; or a dementia-
friendly community group could support
a volunteer and employment program for
people with dementia.”
Steve also spoke in Kiama,
Melbourne, Hobart, Brisbane, Canberra,
Adelaide and Perth during his visit, as
part of a National tour for Dementia
Awareness Month 2014.
aLZnsw has launched a new seRies oF shoRT Films,
The films feature people living with
dementia talking candidly about what
people should know about the condition,
along with the good and bad that comes
with living with dementia.
Themes explored include the
loneliness that comes as friends no
longer visit due to the misconception
that dementia is contagious and the
effects of memory loss.
People with dementia talk about the
unexpected positive things that have
happened following their diagnosis,
including learning to appreciate their
self-worth and the people who have
come forward offering help.
There are three new short films
that form part of the Courageous
Conversations series and you can
watch them here: http://www.
AlzNSW would like to thank all those
who generously participated.
a guide to Becoming
rePort, SePtemBer 2014
Our family has
been dealing with
of dementia for
almost 20 years
as we’ve watched
my wife Lyn – also
known as mum
or ‘mumma’ to our children and
grandchildren – lose the capacity to
perform in a number of significant
areas. But these symptoms of her
dementia certainly haven’t stopped
her from continuing to engage in
activities that she has always enjoyed.
Lyn has had a lifelong interest in art
and music. Even though her ability
to paint is decreasing, earlier on in
her diagnosis she was able to attend
art and music therapy at Alzheimer’s
Australia, which she enjoyed greatly.
Through this time, we have been
grateful for lots of love and support
provided from a number of sources
including, family, friends, neighbours,
Alzheimer’s Australia, our church
and Catholic Community Care. They
have all supported us in a number of
Over the past 20 years supporting
my wife through her dementia
journey, there have been two
important points that I have learnt.
First of all, there is no cure for
dementia. It has to be managed
differently for each person. Secondly,
don’t hesitate to ask for assistance.
People are keen to help and have the
freedom to say no if they can’t.
Caring for someone with dementia
is not easy. There are new challenges
each day. We try to work out her
needs moment by moment and
respond accordingly. We are learning
to think outside the square and do
things differently to ensure that life is
kept at its best for Lyn.
Alan and Lyn are Dementia
Advocates. They have shared their
story as part of the 30 Stories 30
Days campaign during Dementia
Awareness Month. To share your
story or to get involved please
contact Jo -Ann Brown.
t: (02) 8875 4636
demenTia advocaTe alan
shaRes his expeRience.
changes have alReady
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