If you’re lucky, you will get to live a full life, never understanding the impact living with dementia can have on a person, their spouse and families. The reality is though, as we continue to increase in population and live longer, the prevalence of Dementia in our communities grows. Studies held for Dementia Australia by the University of Canberra predicts the 1,052 people living with a form of Dementia in our area of Pumicestone will increase to almost 3,000 by 2058; more than doubling the people and families impacted by the reality of living with a disease most of us fear.
Marie-Louise Bone of Dementia–Friendly Communities Qld, shared with us that more than 70% of people who have dementia continue to actively be engaged in their community with the support of their families, friends and service providers. Annette Lourigan from Home Instead Brisbane North knows first-hand what it is like to watch Dementia not just take away the personality of someone you love, but totally consume the primary carer so much they cannot attend to their own health needs. So, it’s not too surprising that when Marie-Louise and Annette met each other recently at the Moreton Bay Dementia Alliance Memory Walk, they committed to creating a Dementia Alliance for Bribie Island, focused on creating a Dementia-Friendly Bribie Island.
Annette, who lives at Beachmere, has witnessed the value of the community coming together to support people during hard times. She was very quick to connect Councillor Brooke Savige with Marie-Louise to start planning the development of the Dementia Alliance. Both Annette and Marie-Louise were grateful for Brooke’s understanding of what living with Dementia can be. Ali King, MP for Pumicestone, will also be involved with the Alliance and said, “With so many older people in our area, Dementia is a real concern for many of us. My hope is our community can support people with Dementia to stay connected and live well”.
Several local women, Stacey Lloyd, Lynne Scott and Diane Mahoney, who meet weekly to support each other as they walk the journey of Dementia with their husbands, have also put their hands up to help Bribie to develop a Dementia-Friendly Community. Lynne will quickly tell you she “is living the dream” now she has retired at Bribie and knows a Dementia-aware and friendly community is important to both her and her husband, as his illness continues to take a little more of him every day.
Simon Waigh, owner of Home Instead Brisbane North, who was instrumental in the development of the Moreton Bay Dementia Alliance, welcomes the Bribie community’s involvement in the development of the Bribie Dementia Alliance, saying, “It is the community that understands best the needs of their community,” and invites Bribie locals to contact Home Instead Brisbane North to be part of the Alliance’s development.
To get involved with creating Bribie’s very own Dementia-Friendly Community, contact Annette or Jodi Doe from Home Instead on 3482 0800, and to find out more about Dementia-Friendly Communities visit www.dementiafriendly.org.au/dementia-friendly-communities.