Mayor Liz Campbell

From the Mayor's desk
Week commencing 18 September 2017Mayor Liz Campbell

Dementia Awareness Month

Most of us know someone who has been diagnosed with dementia or is caring for someone with the illness, but many of us still know so little about its causes, symptoms and how best to manage it.

September is Dementia Awareness Month and this year’s theme, ‘You are not alone’, is reassuring people living with the disease and their carers that support is available. With over 400,000 Australians living with dementia, and as it is the second leading cause of death in Australia, it is wise to find out about healthy lifestyle tips to reduce the risk of developing dementia or delaying its onset.

Last week over 20 people came along to Kempsey Library’s information session presented by Alzheimer’s Australia to dispel the myths and provide some facts about dementia. On Wednesday this week, the Hastings Macleay Dementia Action Group will hold a free information session at South West Rocks Country Club for anyone interested in learning more about dementia, caring for a loved one with the disease, and access to local support services.

We are so fortunate in our valley to have great residential care and community support services available for seniors in our area. I recently had the pleasure of touring Macleay Valley House’s new 28-bed dementia unit extension, ‘Willow’. The new low-care wing is all about making a smooth transition from family home to residential care while residents are in the early stages of dementia.

Reflected in every corner of the state-of-the-art facilities was the personalised care and attention residents receive at this difficult stage of their lives. Everything from shopping at the on-site general store to hanging out the washing; posting a letter in the mailbox to gardening inside a white picket fence are designed to enhance a feeling of normal family living and independence that is so important for people living with the onset of dementia. The new wing complements the existing medium-to-high dependency ‘Wattle’ wing designed for when dementia residents progress to the next level of care, so they and their families are reassured that they are not alone.

Kempsey Library's dementia information session presented by Alzheimer's AustraliaLast week over 20 people came along to Kempsey Library’s dementia information session presented by Alzheimer’s Australia