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NEW DEMENTIA-FRIENDLY GARDEN FOR PORT MACQUARIE
Alzheimer’s Australia NSW has unveiled an innovative dementia-
friendly garden at its site in Bridge Street, Port Macquarie.
Using best-practice guidelines and research from
around the world, along with feedback garnered through
consultation with consumers and health professionals, the
garden has been developed as a multi-purpose, therapeutic
space that will stimulate and calm the senses.
The Hon. John Watkins AM, CEO Alzheimer’s Australia
NSW, says the garden will be an invaluable resource for
people with dementia and their carers.
“Access to a garden has also been found to improve
attention, relaxation and self-esteem. Interacting using
all the senses in a garden environment can help trigger
memories, and moving around the garden can help
improve motor skills,” John says.
“Not only will this garden provide physical, emotional
and psychological benefits for people living with
dementia, but will also give families much-needed respite
while their loved ones are receiving support with us.”
A few of the dementia-friendly features of the garden,
which has been developed with landscape architecture
alliance partner Sym Studio, are contrasting colours, lots
of signage and accessibility aids.
Sarah is living with dementia and is pleased that
Alzheimer’s Australia NSW has developed the garden.
“Having this unique space here in our community is
going to be so beneficial to people living with dementia
and their carers in Port Macquarie. I’m looking for ward to
using the garden and would encourage other local people
in similar circumstances to do the same,” Sarah says.
The Port Macquarie dementia-friendly garden has
been funded by donations from the general public, and
from the Memory Walk & Jog event, which took place at
Westport Park, Port Macquarie in June.
Construction will commence soon on a second
Alzheimer’s Australia NSW dementia-friendly garden at
People can still donate to the garden by calling
1300 MEMORY (636 679).
Alzheimer’s Australia NSW is taking steps to address the
alarming rates of dementia that exist within Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander communities through the development of
a new engagement plan.
According to research recently conducted by Neuroscience
Research Australia, the rate of dementia prevalence among
Indigenous Australians is now three times that of Australia’s
non-Indigenous population. Research also suggests that
dementia affects Indigenous Australians at an earlier age than
the general population, with a larger proportion of Indigenous
Australians living with dementia aged between 45 and 69.
In many cases the high prevalence rates can be put down
to a history of disadvantage, dispossession and poor health
outcomes, as well as a lack of understanding about dementia,
dementia care and risk reduction strategies.
The increased dementia prevalence in Indigenous Australian
communities is not represented by the relatively small
numbers of Indigenous Australians connecting to dementia
services through Alzheimer’s Australia NSW and other
To help address this the new engagement plan will – over a
period of three years – aim to increase dementia education and
access to services among Indigenous Australians through a
whole-of-organisation approach, as well as a number of
considerations and actions.
Objectives and activities within the plan include building
respect for Indigenous Australian people and culture within
Alzheimer’s Australia NSW through cultural awareness training
for all staff. Another important component of the plan is
ensuring inclusive employment opportunities for Indigenous
Australians in the organisation.
The number of Indigenous Australian bodies Alzheimer’s
Australia NSW partners with will be increased, and additional
engagement with and education among Indigenous Australian
communities will be prioritised, including the recruitment of
culturally appropriate Ambassadors.
Alzheimer’s Australia NSW will ensure buildings are
welcoming to Indigenous Australians through the use of
appropriate artwork and flags, and will ensure all informational
resources are culturally appropriate and relevant.
ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT
ISLANDER ENGAGEMENT PLAN
15/8/17 3:29 pm
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