More than 50 community members and representatives from organisations gathered for the launch of the Dementia Friendly Community project in Kilkivan on 14 November.
Funded by Central Queensland, Wide Bay, Sunshine Coast Primary Health Network (PHN), this initiative aims to build understanding, awareness and acceptance of dementia in the community. Kilkivan is the first pilot town for this initiative and will be an ongoing project until it is established.
The launch was a great success thanks to the tireless efforts of Suncare Support Worker Trish King who helped bring the community together to support this initiative, with help from fellow Support Worker Bronwyn Hampton.
Suncare has been hosting seniors’ days in Kilkivan and Goomeri (in the Gympie region) every second Wednesday since 2011, bringing together seniors isolated on their farms to enjoy a day of games, guest speakers, raffles and food.
The idea for making Kilkivan a Dementia Friendly Community followed a visit by Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service nurse navigator Jenny Farmer who noticed that the seniors were a close knit and supportive community. As a result, Trish has been meeting with local organisations to prepare for the launch event which included representatives from the emergency forces, police, fire, ambulance, SES, the local Men’s Shed and school, plus guest speakers:
- Pauline Hope, Coordinator Dementia Advisory and Support Service, Ozcare
- Mara Bennett, Dementia Friendly Communities Project Officer, Dementia Australia
- Karen Sweeney, local carer
- Alexis Lamperd, Health System Improvement Officer, Central Queensland, Wide Bay, Sunshine Coast PHN
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