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York has embraced Alzheimer’s WA dementia friendly community initiative to become one of Australia’s first dementia friendly towns.

After the pilot period from July 2017 to June 2018 Alzheimer’s WA officially handed the project back over to the town.

Alzheimer’s WA worked with the York community, businesses and the York Shire to develop a whole of town approach to being dementia friendly.

Dementia diagnosis is often accompanied by stigma, isolation, discrimination and misunderstanding which can impede the person with dementia living with meaning and purpose in the community. People with dementia deserve to participate in everyday life, and require support and understanding to do so.

Through this project, participating community members and businesses were educated on the background of dementia, how to recognise symptoms, how to communicate with a person living with dementia in the community and workplace, and steps to take to enrich the community and workplace.

Key achievements in York included:

  • Initiative for students from York District High School to visit residents at Balladong Lodge and spend time playing games and puzzles
  • Introduction of a Memory Café in York
  • Redesign of public toilets to be more dementia and age friendly
  • Training of staff in local businesses including cafés, retail and other frontline staff
  • Education for the community about what is dementia and how to be dementia friendly

The outcomes were much greater than we could ever have predicted. The community of York completely embraced the initiative and now feel more confident and more empowered on how best to support and involve people living with dementia. People living with dementia are feel more supported and welcome in their community.

Watch how York made a difference to Jane and Laurie

One of Australia’s first dementia friendly towns.

One of Australia’s first dementia friendly towns.

Posted by Today Tonight on Thursday, 28 February 2019

Credit: ABC

Alzheimer’s WA are grateful to the community of York for embracing this project. In particular, we wish to acknowledge:

  • Shire of York
  • Balladong Lodge, York
  • York District High School

Dementia Friendly News

The Dementia Friendly Communities project was funded by the WA Country Health Service as part of the Southern Inland Health Initiative.

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