COMMUNITY Vision is urging people to not just have a Christmas meal but have A Roast to Remember to support Australians living with dementia.
The Joondalup-based not-for-profit organisation has developed the campaign in a bid to raise $250,000 for a community dementia bus to help those who don’t have immediate access to local services and to give a respite break to carers.
This includes clients such as Peter Jeffs (79) and his wife and carer Elaine (66).
Mr Jeffs retired in April when he was 74 and by October, he was unwell.
“We were living in Wagin and flew him down to Albany to get checked out and when we came back the next week, I saw the GP and they suggested I needed to bring him into the city,” Mrs Jeffs said.
“He went to Joondalup hospital for 10 days and was diagnosed with full blown Alzheimer’s.
“From there our lives went pear shaped.
“I was still working part-time but realised our rural community in Wagin didn’t have what we needed for support – the services just weren’t enough.
“It took almost two years to sell our home in the country before we moved to a little park home in Cherokee Village in Kingsley.”
Mrs Jeffs said she had since quit working and was now her husband’s full-time carer.
“On a daily basis it’s very hard – I miss the interaction with people but Pete is my priority,” she said.
“We have two adult daughters, who live locally, and six grandchildren.
“Pete is a client at Community Vision and attends the Woodvale Social Centre twice a week and that gives me a little respite.”
Community Vision chief executive Michelle Jenkins said A Roast to Remember was something everyone could take part in “without too much effort” to help support people like the Jeffs.
“It’s all about the community coming together, sharing food, lifting spirits and making a difference so there can be a stronger public focus on dementia,” she said.
“Our end goal is to help the community at large to be more capable of dealing with those living with dementia through education, support and guidance.”
The campaign also calls on fundraisers to submit their best roast recipes and photos for a chance to win a prize and be part of a recipe booklet.
The booklet, to be launched in 2019, will include roast recipes from iconic West Australian’s and will be sold to raise further funds for the dementia bus.
To date, more than $62,000 has been raised.