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John, who is living with dementia, is an active member of the Brisbane South East Dementia Alliance and a strong advocate for creating dementia-friendly communities.
"I have a right to feel valued and belong, and to maintain the connections I have established over my lifetime,” he said.
“It is important for me to live well now but I can't achieve this alone. Together, we can all work to create a dementia-friendly community so that everyone feels valued and remains connected.
“The key to sustaining these connections is through the development of a dementia-friendly and dementia-enabling community.”
What is a dementia-friendly community?
People living with dementia are at the heart of all dementia-friendly communities, sharing their experiences to help create an inclusive community for all.
“More knowledge, understanding and awareness will ultimately reduce the stigma surrounding both the word dementia and the impact of the diagnosis itself,” John said.
“These initiatives will ensure that fewer people remain socially isolated.”
Jennifer, who cared for her mother who lived with vascular dementia, is also a strong supporter of dementia-friendly communities.
She said the support she and her family received from Dementia Australia inspired her to do something to help people with dementia live well and remain involved in their communities.
As a member of the Darwin Dementia Alliance she has joined a group of like-minded people, including people living with dementia, to create a dementia-friendly community in her local area.
The group is working on a project to help isolated seniors in the community, including those living with dementia, to get together for a regular morning tea to reduce loneliness and isolation, as well as foster social engagement.
Jennifer encouraged others to get involved in their local community.
“Dementia comes in many forms,” she said. “Families, friends and our community should embrace the beauty of knowing someone living with dementia.
“It’s important to educate ourselves about dementia and make time to reconnect with your loved ones or neighbours.
“People living with dementia have a lot to share and it’s important to capture the depths of their knowledge, humour and skills while in the journey.”
Join the nationwide movement
Visit our website to learn more about creating a dementia-friendly community.