Launched last year, the Urban Troopy Program is an innovative collaboration between Dementia Australia NT and Carers NT that addresses a gap in culturally appropriate activities relevant to Indigenous Australians with early onset dementia in the Darwin area.
Dementia Australia NT’s Younger Onset Dementia Key Worker and Community Engagement Officer Steph Charlesworth said the Urban Troopy bus has taken-off and there have been a few surprises on the way.
“Many knew each other by Aunty or Uncle – one guy took over the role of conductor/narrator on the bus and we’ve even had a few relationships formed on the bus,” Steph said.
“We found we had a gap in culturally appropriate activities for Aboriginal people living with dementia.”
Urban Troopy activities are planned around individual needs or group needs and are culturally appropriate.
The group has gone fishing, visited family and places that are of interest or significance to members of the group, art galleries, sporting activities and attended cultural events.
“It’s a fun group,” Steph said.
The social interaction, communication and participation is beneficial for participants living with the early onset of dementia, who have been sitting together, yarning and reminiscing about their past and share stories connected to their family, history, culture and other interests.
Dementia Australia NT continues to run Stepping Out Group, a respite program for people with dementia, while the Urban Troopy Program now continues through Carers NT.