Wanneroo City’s key dementia role

THE City of Wanneroo will work with Alzheimer’s WA to become a ‘dementia friendly’ community.

At the recent release of the Dementia-Friendly Communities Project Report, Community Services Minister Tony Simpson said local government would play a key role in the creation of a dementia-friendly WA.

“This report provides the guidance local governments and their partners need to reduce the stigma attached to dementia and enable people living with the condition to stay socially connected,” he said. The report identified stigma as a key challenge for more than 300 people living with dementia and carers who provided personal experiences for the study.

People living with dementia and their carers said the biggest problems were attitudes, understanding and awareness.

Concerns were a lack of understanding or patience, a lack of family support as well as general negative attitudes.

Alzheimer’s Australia WA is leading the Dementia-Friendly Communities project, supported by a three-year State Government grant.

Chief executive Rhonda Parker said 70 per cent of people with dementia live at home in the community and 30 per cent of those live alone. “Becoming dementia-friendly is a community challenge for all of us,” she said.

“Local government has shown great leadership and enthusiasm for this project.”

The cities of Wanneroo, Bunbury and Rockingham have accepted the challenge of being pilot sites working towards dementia-friendly communities.

Wanneroo Mayor Tracey Roberts said she was proud the City would this month become the first local government in WA to undertake an audit of how dementia-friendly it was.

“This audit will help us understand the needs of people with dementia, which is crucial given that projections show the number of city residents affected will soar to more than 4000 by 2050,” she said.

For more information, visit fightdementia.org.au.