Let’s Make the Northern Beaches Dementia-Friendly
The Dementia-Friendly Northern Beaches Project is working towards becoming a Dementia-friendly Community in the Northern Beaches. Your Side are working in collaboration with the Northern Beaches Council, advocacy groups, community organisations, service providers, local community members, people living with dementia and carers to achieve this goal.
Dementia-Friendly Communities is an initiative of Dementia Australia where local communities are empowered to make a difference. A Dementia-Friendly Community is “a place where people living with dementia are supported to live a high quality of life with meaning, purpose and value.” (Dementia Australia, 2019).
The Northern Beaches project objectives are:
- Increase dementia awareness so people living with dementia feel understood and supported
- Create safer physical and social environments for people living with dementia
- Provide opportunities for social participation for people living with dementia and their carers to reduce social participation
- Influence social change, community cohesion and collective action
Who are the NBDA?
The Northern Beaches Dementia Alliance (NBDA) was formed in August 2018. The NBDA are a committee of passionate and dedicated individuals from the community, health and the aged care sector. Their role is to govern and facilitate the activities related to the project. To read more about the NBDA, download the project fact sheet here: About the project 2020
What are the current activities?
Working with local schools
We are delivering a pilot education program in primary schools and high schools to improve dementia awareness and educate the next generation about dementia. Download the information sheet for high schools here: High School Session 2020
We are facilitating a local intergenerational music program, connecting older people in residential care with school students through music and interaction. Download the information sheet here for primary schools here: 2020 Intergen Music Program
Working with our local community
We are delivering free dementia awareness sessions to local community groups. These sessions promote dementia-friendly principles including dementia-friendly communication to improve dementia knowledge and reduce stigma in the community. To book a session, contact us or download the information sheet here: Dementia Education Session flyer 2020
In 2019 we formed the Northern Beaches Dementia Advisory Group. Members of this advisory group include people living with dementia and their carers. Our advisory group works in collaboration with the NBDA to guide our project direction and consult on the development of new resources. If you would like more information about the advisory group, download the flyer here: Dementia advisory group flyer
Working with local businesses
We are assisting local organisations (including small businesses, community providers, local government, primary health and allied health providers) to draft Dementia-friendly Organisation Action Plans by providing feedback through our Dementia Advisory Group (people living with dementia and carers). For more information about Dementia-Friendly Organisations, download the information sheet here: Become a Dementia-Friendly Organisation
We are supporting organisations to undertake environmental audits of physical spaces to ensure they are safe and supportive for people living with dementia.
We are delivering free dementia awareness sessions to staff so they can better support people living with dementia. This session provides information about Dementia-Friendly Organisations and practical communication tips for staff in any sector. To book a session, contact us or download the information sheet here: Staff information sessionSubscribe Now
Creating a better future together
Why are we doing it? The prevalence and incidence of dementia is increasing in Australia and the Northern Beaches. As 70% of people with dementia are living in the community, we wish to create a community that is dementia friendly. In 2020, there is an estimated 459,000 Australians living with dementia. Without a medical breakthrough, the number of people with dementia is expected to increase to 590,000 by 2028 and 1,076,000 by 2058 (Dementia Australia, 2020). In the Northern Beaches it is estimated that there are over 6000 people living with dementia. By 2058, the prevalence and incidence of dementia is projected to increase by 151%.
Recent research by Dementia Australia has revealed that community awareness of dementia is low. 25% of respondents believed that dementia was a normal part of ageing, 39% of respondents reported feeling “awkward” around people with dementia and 41% said they found talking with people living with dementia “confronting” (Dementia Australia, 2017). We believe that through our project, we can reduce the stigma associated with dementia and create a community that is supportive for people living with dementia.
Achievements to date
Last year we delivered education to more than 800 community members and 100 local organisation staff. We also provided education to almost 400 primary and high school students and connected more than 300 students and older people through our intergenerational music program.
Reducing Dementia Risk
Research tells us that the brain changes associated with dementia can occur up to 20 years before the first symptoms of dementia are recognised. There are several ways in which you can reduce dementia risk by modifying behaviours related to diet, exercise, sleep and mental health. The Northern Beaches Dementia Alliance have created a fact sheet with tips to decrease risk of developing dementia, you can download the fact sheet here: Dementia Risk Reduction_Fact Sheet
The Dementia-Friendly Northern Beaches Project is proudly supported by the Northern Beaches Council, Dementia Australia, Your Side Australia, Sydney North Health Network PHN, Hammondcare at Home, Just Better Care Northern Beaches, CCNB and RSL Lifecare at Home.
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For more information, contact the NBDFC Project Manager, Ilsa Bird.Subscribe Now Get Support
Every life has meaning, purpose and value
Promoting greater awareness
Research reveals that community knowledge and awareness of dementia is low and that survey respondents find it “awkward” or “confronting” when communicating with people living with dementia. The NBDFC Project aims to shed light on some of the misconceptions about dementia and to educate and empower individuals, communities and organisations to increase awareness and reduce the stigma associated.
Creating safe and supportive communities
By encouraging local businesses and community services such as supermarkets, banks and transport to become Dementia-Friendly, we can improve accessibility in these spaces for people living with dementia and their families as well as the broader elderly population. Businesses will provide services that are supportive; with staff that understand the needs of people living with dementia and communicate accordingly.
Fostering inclusivity and social participation
The NBDFC Project looks at ways to minimise social isolation for people living with dementia and their families which is detrimental to one’s personal and emotional wellbeing. People living with dementia report embarrassment associated with their diagnosis which causes them to withdraw socially. We aim to increase social participation through a range of activities and initiatives to foster inclusively.
Improved quality of life for individuals
The prevalence and incidence of dementia in Australia and the Northern Beaches is increasing with 70% of people with dementia currently living in the community. It is imperative we act now to increase awareness, foster inclusivity and create safe and supportive communities so that these individuals and their families can have improved quality of life and remain in the community.
This was an immensely enriching experience for the students. The interactions between students and residents was heart-warming and there was much joy on both sides.
Thank you for helping to bring greater awareness to dementia.