Dementia Friendly Communities
We have made the commitment to being a dementia friendly community which is defined as “inclusive suburbs or towns where people living with dementia are able to continue living the life they choose.” You can read more about dementia friendly communities and find out what you can do by going to the Dementia Australia website.
Dementia is not a normal part of ageing. It is the fastest growing disability in Australia, currently affecting more than half a million Australians, with that number set to double in the next 25 years. However, many people continue to live active and rich lives after diagnosis. As a community we have a role in supporting people with dementia to live and age well.
We employ an Ageing Well Officer to progress the aims of making the Shire dementia friendly. This includes organising regular staff and volunteer training and community awareness raising events. Council also support the carer support group Changing Minds in Beechworth and neurological decline carer support group in Rutherglen.
Many of the local businesses and services in Beechworth have taken steps towards being dementia friendly and Council are working towards greater inclusivity across the Shire. In 2020 the first memory café, Changing Minds Cafe opened at the Empire Hotel Beechworth. This is a free get together for people experiencing memory loss or living with a diagnosis of dementia and their family and friends. It is supported by local businesses, taxi service, Council and Beechworth Health Services.
If you would like more information on what you or your business, service or group can do to become dementia friendly please contact the Ageing Well Officer on 1300 365 003.