People with dementia join forces to Engage, Enable and Empower all those living with a diagnosis

Thursday 12 November 2015

People with dementia join forces to Engage, Enable and Empower all those living with a diagnosis

Meet Maureen, Gwladys, Peter, Iolanda, George, Huong, Rose, Jim, Geoff, Athena, Peter, Colin, Maxine and Trish – they’re living with dementia and they want to share their stories to help others to know they are not alone. Their wish is to inspire others to make the most of living with dementia.

Through Engage, Enable, Empower, a new, national resource launched today by Alzheimer’s Australia Vic at the Victorian Parliamentary Friends of Dementia, this group have joined forces to share their experience through a website and a booklet that have been specifically developed by people living with dementia, for people living with dementia.

“Life doesn’t end on receiving a dementia diagnosis,” Maree McCabe CEO Alzheimer’s Australia Vic said.

“Engage, Enable, Empower aims to inspire anyone who is living with dementia to know that it is possible to live a good quality of life with dementia.

“Through the advice of our clients we have developed this resource to encourage others to learn more about remaining engaged and how small changes to their lifestyle can lead to better health and wellbeing. Also, importantly, how keeping your mind active and having fun is so important,” Ms McCabe said.

 “It is imperative that you maintain your daily activities as you are still part of society,” Trish Underhill, retired teacher, aged 64 and living with dementia said.

“By being active and ensuring you are in good health it is good for your self-esteem and happiness.

“I agreed to participate in the hope I would be helping others,” Mrs Underhill said.

The Engage, Enable, Empower website and booklet shares the stories of the fourteen participants while communicating important information about maintaining your mind, body, overall health and the importance of seeking support from your family, friends, community and through Dementia Australia Vic.

"We congratulate Victoria’s peak body for dementia, Alzheimer’s Australia Vic, on their leadership in developing this new national resource that will make a difference to the lives of the 81,000 Victorians living with dementia, their families and carers.

“We encourage all our parliamentary colleagues and the community to visit the website and to call the National Dementia Helpline 1800 100 500 if they have any questions or concerns about themselves or a loved one," said Victorian Parliamentary Friends of Dementia Co-convenors Gabrielle Williams MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Carers and Volunteers and Emma Kealy MP, Member for Lowan, in a joint statement.

“I commend all those who contributed to this project for their generosity and willingness to be open and discuss their diagnosis to inspire others. This small group of people living with dementia, by calling on Alzheimer’s Australia Vic to create this resource, will encourage many others, for years to come, to make the most of living with dementia,” Ms McCabe said.

 

The website can be found at www.livingwellwithdementia.org.au. The booklet can be downloaded from the website. For further information please call the National Dementia Helpline 1800 100 500 or email alz@dementia.org.au.

This project was funded by the Australian Government, as part of the Developing Innovative Methods to Respond to Neurogenerative Disease Programme.

-Ends-

Notes to media

When writing or talking about dementia, please provide your audience with the number for our National Dementia Helpline 1800 100 500 - a telephone information and support service available across Australia.

What is appropriate language for talking about dementia and why do we need it?

The words used to talk about dementia can have a significant impact on how people with dementia are viewed and treated in our community. Please read our Dementia Language Guidelines that have been developed by people living with dementia and carers.

About Alzheimer’s Australia Vic

In Victoria almost 81,000 people are living with dementia. This figure is projected to increase to 246,000 by 2050.

Alzheimer’s Australia Vic is the charity representing people, of all ages, with all forms of dementia in Victoria. As the peak body, we provide specialised dementia information, education and support services.

Call our National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500 or visit vic.fightdementia.org.au.

 

Media contacts:

Stephanie Puls +613 9816 5745 / +613 427 757 434 / stephanie.puls@dementia.org.au

Christine Bolt +613 9816 5772 / +613 400 004 553 / christine.bolt@dementia.org.au