AFTER almost a year of fundraising, WA’s first travelling dementia bus has its wheels in motion.
Seniors and Ageing Minister Mick Murray joined Community Vision at Roseworth Primary School in Girrawheen on Wednesday to officially launch the community bus that will provide respite and information to dementia carers, support and access to new technology for those living with dementia and vital education into schools.
With the van and exterior wrap funded by the inaugural year of the A Roast to Remember fundraising campaign, which encourages people to host a roast dinner and raise money for dementia, the launch also marks the start of phase two.
“With the dream of the community dementia bus now a reality, phase two of the fundraising campaign aims to raise enough money for the full fit out of the bus, advanced technology within the bus and the two staff required to service it, with the aim of visiting a minimum of two locations each week covering metro, regional and rural WA,” Community Vision chief executive Michelle Jenkins said.
The first bus visits will take place in September, to coincide with Dementia Awareness month, and will include a visit to the remote Badjaling Aboriginal Community.
The bus can also visit community centres or people’s homes, allowing the wider community to trial some of the new innovations such as virtual reality for those living with dementia.
“We are looking into virtual reality art therapy programs as well as language assistance programs,” Ms Jenkins said.
“For example, if Italian is your first language, the virtual reality world can take you walking through the streets of Rome, conversing in your first language.
“All these programs are designed to help with the de-escalation of anxiety caused by the disease.”
The air-conditioned bus will also be fitted with sensory materials to help reduce frustration, stress and anxiety, and will give carers advice and new therapy techniques.
There will be tea and coffee facilities.
Phase two of the A Roast to Remember fundraising campaign will also include the launch of a celebrity recipe booklet later in the year, with recipes from iconic West Australian’s including Anna Gare, Steve Mills, Carmen Braidwood and Matt Hale.
Dementia Bus Schedule
September 2: Kings Park Spring Festival
September 8: Quairading Community – Murray Yarran
September 9: Araluen Spring Celebration
September 11: Chittering Spring Festival
TBC: Yagan Square Festival
TBC: Joint event with the City of Stirling
September 26: Kalamunda RSL
September 27: A Roast to Remember at Woodvale Social Centre