Georges River Council is looking to become among the first Councils in Australia to be dementia-friendly.
At its recent meeting, Council agreed to join the ‘Dementia-Friendly Communities Program’ – an initiative of Dementia Australia – and seek to gain recognition as a Dementia Friendly Organisation.
In order to obtain the official recognition, Council said it will look to make specific changes that seek to better meet the needs of people living with dementia.
This includes drafting an action plan addressing changes across the entire organisation, in consultation with people living with the condition, in the following domains:
- Inclusivity – Fostering a workplace that’s inclusive and focused on the needs of people living with dementia;
- Staff training – Training staff to understand dementia and use strategies to communicate effectively with people living with dementia, their families and carers;
- Adapted physical environment – Making small changes to the physical environment so it’s accessible and appropriate for people living with dementia, their families and carers; and
- Adapted business documents – Reviewing business documents, forms or publications to make sure that language and design are clear and easy to understand.
Across Australia, since the program started in 2016, there have only been six local government entities recognised as dementia friendly.
By gaining the recognition, Georges River Council will be listed on Dementia Australia’s public accessible online index.
Georges River Mayor, Nick Katris welcomed the plan, saying it reinforced Council’s commitment to ensuring its services and environments were appropriate, welcoming, and inclusive.
“People with Dementia are a notable cohort within the Local Government Area and are expected to significantly increase by 157% by 2058,” the Mayor said.
“We have been a long-standing supporter for dementia-friendly projects in the community, including live performances and visits to local community gardens as part of a broader Memory Loss program for people living with dementia.
“Our Carss Park Narani Childcare Centre has also partnered with 3Bridges to connect children with community groups targeting the dementia community, in an ongoing intergenerational relationship-based program.
“It is time for a holistic and sustainable approach for Council to evolve into a better inclusive and disease modifying organisation.”
For details on how to become a Dementia Friendly organisation, visit: Communities matter | Dementia Australia (dementiafriendly.org.au)