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Intouch : In Touch Summer 2011-12
18 IN TOUCH SUMMER 2011 The Tweed State Electoral Division has the highest prevalence of dementia in NSW, and that is only set to escalate as the population continues to age. Extensive consultation with local service providers revealed a lack of dementia support in the region, existing services unable to meet the increasing demand and no clear pathway for people to take after being diagnosed with dementia. That's when Chris and the Tweed Dementia Sector took steps to deal with this serious community issue. Chris has been undertaking a short-term project funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing, improving the coordination, availability and responsiveness of services in the Tweed Heads area, with risk-reduction initiatives, community awareness projects, local forums to identify the priorities of the area and developing ways of meeting these priorities. "My role is all about networking, " Chris says. "I am constantly engaging with the community, keeping people up to date with new developments, distributing important information to the community and attending local group meetings. ” Within the frst three months of taking on the position, Chris spoke to more than 40 local community interest groups. ENGAGING LOCALS Chris has been closely involved with the Tweed Heads Dementia Pathway Forum, which convenes bimonthly and develops action plans with the community to increase the accessibility of dementia diagnosis and support services in the area. The forum has also been working closely with the Tweed Valley General Practitioners Network to provide GPs with regular information on services, research and events, provide education PEOPLE SUPPORT NETWORK INCREASING DEMENTIA SUPPORT SERVICES IN THE TWEED HEADS REGION IS ALL ABOUT NETWORKING, ACCORDING TO CHRIS VANNUCCI, PROJECT OFFICER FOR TWEED DEMENTIA SECTOR DEVELOPMENT. BY CHARLOTTE MITCHELL Chris Vannucci, Project Officer -- Tweed Dementia Sector Development RENDEZVOUS IBEX AEDAPNRY YIELD MARSUPIAL S IPIMDO REVERING BLEEP BV RHE H LEAKAGE TORNADO ODT EIN WHETHER INDULGE D EEN ES RADII PLACARDS YRSLNM B EVENTUATE BLAZE RASCLEXD SUDS NEWYORKERS to practice staff and organise a General Practitioners' Workshop. A social inclusiveness and community access project has also been initiated in the region. As part of this, a second project worker, Pam Sligo, has been employed to work with Chris to engage local clubs, help them provide dementia- friendly services and work out how they can best distribute important information to their members. SEEING REAL CHANGE “What I fnd most rewarding about my job is the positive feedback" , says Chris. "I feel like the position is really valued by the community; people have found it so useful. "The community forums that the Tweed Dementia Sector has developed are vital to the community. Without them, there is no information getting to the people who need it. "We are actually seeing real changes in the Tweed area now. We are seeing increased education and awareness, and better access to services and support for residents of the Tweed. " AlzNSW hopes to have a permanent presence in the Tweed in the future and the work done by Chris is an important frst step in getting us there. CROSSWORD SOLUTION
In Touch Issue 78
In Touch Autumn 2012