Fostering friendship

Facility manager Louisa Chadwick, Alzheimer's WA’s Sharon Gronow and dementia consultant Michelle Harris with Bethanie Beachside dementia-specific volunteers. |Picture: Emma Reeves www.communitypix.com.au d419427
Facility manager Louisa Chadwick, Alzheimer's WA’s Sharon Gronow and dementia consultant Michelle Harris with Bethanie Beachside dementia-specific volunteers. |Picture: Emma Reeves www.communitypix.com.au d419427

The trial at Bethanie Beachside has been developed to help dementia clients build self-esteem and give volunteers a better understanding of the condition to create more of a friendship with the client.

Bethanie dementia consultant Michelle Harris will work with Alzheimer’s Australia WA to lead the group of six volunteers who will be matched with an appropriate client to ensure the best possible environment.

The volunteers have expressed an interest in dementia and reducing the stigma associated with the disease, with three of them having experienced a loved one living with the condition and three having backgrounds in health services.

If the pilot program is successful, the training could be extended across the Bethanie organisation.