Small actions count and can make a difference to people living with dementia, says Alzheimer's Australia in the lead-up to Dementia Awareness Month 2014, which starts on 1 September.
During Dementia Awareness Month this year, Alzheimer's Australia is calling for the community to join them in Creating a Dementia-Friendly Nation - creating communities where people living with dementia arerespected, valued and supported to maintain a good quality of life.
With Victoria estimated to have 78,000 people living with dementia, and that number is expected to soar to almost 250,000 by 2050, Alzheimer's Australia Vic says it's essential that we pave the way for future generations to live in dementia-friendly communities.
Alzheimer's Australia Vic CEO, Maree McCabe said people with dementia want to be active participants in their own lives. We want to encourage communities to enable people with dementia to maintain a good quality of life following a diagnosis of dementia.
'Volunteering and employment opportunities for people with dementia, as well as businesses that have staff trained to understand dementia and communicate effectively with people with dementia are just some of the ways that our communities can become dementia-friendly.
'Greater awareness and understanding of the condition can also help. A general lack of understanding and fear of dementia in the community is the primary barrier to people with dementia being engaged in their own communities. Too often people with dementia experience social isolation following a diagnosis of dementia, partly because people are unaware of the symptoms and unsure how to respond to the changes in a person that they have always known," Ms McCabe said.
This year's Dementia Awareness Month theme is -Creating a Dementia-Friendly Nation'. World Alzheimer's Day is on Sunday 21 September.
Alzheimer's Australia Vic will host a number of events as part of Dementia Awareness Month.
The headline event in Victoria will be a Public Lecture titled -Creating dementia-friendly concepts and communities' by Steve Milton of Innovations in Dementia UK on Thursday 18 September at the Melbourne City Conference Centre.
Dementia Awareness Month 2014 is supported by financial assistance from the Australian and Victorian Governments.