Dementia Action Week
Published on 16 September 2020
Our Dementia Friendly Kiama Project is using Dementia Action Week (21 to 27 September), to celebrate how people living with dementia are staying connected and supported in a COVID world.
Dementia Friendly Project Officer Michael Preston said weekly online video support meetings were introduced during the initial COVID lockdown and have proved a huge success.
“We brought in the video meetings via Zoom at the start, as many people living with dementia are elderly, who even in normal circumstances are at risk of social isolation and its consequences,” Mr Preston said.
"We were able to get the help of community services such as the Meals on Wheels to distribute flyers encouraging them to join us online.”
“We were also able to rely on the outstanding support from our Council IT section to help us with the technicalities, which proved invaluable.”
Mr Preston said an unplanned but major benefit of the move to online meetings, was people outside Kiama, indeed Australia, could take part.
Delegates from Alzheimer’s Singapore have been taking part in the weekly meetings, which has made the meetings help more people than would normally be the case.
“Having the Singapore delegates take part also provided a major insight into the lives of people with dementia in different nations and cultures.”
“For example, there is a significant stigma attached to people with dementia in Singaporese society, that we here in Australia would find hard to understand.”
Mr Preston believes this is where the online support meetings have an exciting potential.
"Reaching out to people nationally and internationally will capture a richer and diverse understanding of people living with dementia, and how to support them.”
“Importantly, the focus of these meetings remains being a source of communication and support, rather than advocacy or policy.”
To mark Dementia Action Week, the Dementia Friendly Kiama Project is hosting one its popular workshops, Community Dementia Education Training, at Matterson Hall in Blue Haven Bonaira (Friday 25 September, 9am to 12noon).
Register to participate in the workshop face-to-face, with COVID safety measures in place, or join in online.
Weekly support meetings
If you wish to join in on the weekly support meetings, they take place weekly on Thursdays at 2pm, except for the last Thursday of the month.
Zoom Meeting ID: 816 0497 8472
Join Zoom Meeting