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Intouch : In Touch Autumn 2014
IN TOUCH AUTUMN 2014 3 Welcome to what is set to be another busy and exciting year ahead. We were so fortunate to have Sir Michael Parkinson join us for a special fundraising gala in Sydney in February. It was an entertaining evening and a highlight on the calendar. We were also privileged to have Alzheimer's Australia National President and 2013 Australian of the Year Ita Buttrose and AlzNSW Ambassador and television presenter Natarsha Belling join us for the evening. We are lucky to have such wonderful Ambassadors, and their generous support. We are very appreciative of their efforts. Recently, the Australian Journal of Dementia Care featured an article on the Every Bloke Needs A Shed program in the Hunter (see page 7). The program is just another example of how effective engagement with and meaningful activities for people living with a diagnosis of dementia can make such a difference to quality of life. The article in a journal of this calibre also shows that AlzNSW is leading the charge when it comes to dementia care, advice, support and education, and we will continue to do so. In other exciting news, the Port Macquarie- Hastings area is setting up to become one of the frst dementia-friendly communities in Australia. A steering committee has been established to progress that from concept to reality and develop a guide for others to follow. AlzNSW is involved with the project, which has been led by good friend to the organisation, the Member for Port Macquarie and Parliamentary Friend of Dementia co-convenor Leslie Williams MP. You can read more about this remarkable project on page 5. Just before the Christmas break, we received notifcation that we had again achieved accreditation following our regular external review. This process assesses our systems and practices against 19 standards and aims to ensure we are continually reviewing and improving the way we operate. The reviewers spent several days visiting our offces and talking to many staff, consumers, volunteers, board members and partner organisations. We were pleased to be informed that we'd achieved an ‘Exceeded’ rating for fve of the standards – an outstanding and rare achievement. We are also preparing for another fantastic year of Memory Walks & Jogs. These are great events that bring many communities together in support of people living with dementia, their carers, family and friends. We hope that you can join us for Memory Walk & Jog this year. The Hon. John Watkins, CEO, AlzNSW I am pleased to report to you that we have had a very busy start to 2014 and we've already seen a lot of media attention around research advances in dementia. Whilst these reports are positive signs, we remain grounded in the knowledge that there is, as yet, no cure. Major advances over the past few years have led to a greater understanding of the illness and, although it's too soon to say whether or not we can prevent it, studies show that its progress can be slowed down. The Board and staff at AlzNSW are working very hard to improve the lives of everyone affected by Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia in our community. One of our top goals for 2014 is to have our quality services delivered to more people in more locations across the state. Mid last year, the organisation recruited ten new staff (Key Workers) focussed on delivering services to people with Younger Onset Dementia, and their carers. This year, we anticipate that these roles will have very full workloads as awareness grows about the addition to our services. The Key Workers also work closely with other community service organisations in helping to improve health pathways and connections to people in need. This year we will be expanding our services in the far south coast and in western NSW at Dubbo. Clearly, our growth is essential to those living with dementia and their carers. We are committed to continuing that growth across NSW. On the political front, we continue to be closely engaged with government bodies to achieve greater funding for dementia research and support for expanded service coverage. Our central requests to Australian Government include the establishment of a national 'Key Worker' program to better serve the needs of the rapidly expanding dementia population, increased dementia research funding, and GP awareness programs which include appropriate education and training. The Board of Directors and I look forward to the year ahead with vigour and determination. Jerry Ellis AO, Chair, AlzNSW CONTINUAL IMPROVEMENT CEO'S MESSAGE CHAIR'S MESSAGE HOPE SPRINGS ONE OF OUR TOP GOALS FOR 2014 IS TO HAVE OUR QUALITY SERVICES DELIVERED TO MORE PEOPLE IN MORE LOCATIONS ACROSS THE STATE.
In Touch Summer 2013
In Touch Winter 2014