Dementia Friendly Communities

Two smiling women sitting in a library with a table of books in front of them

We have made the commitment to being a dementia friendly community which is defined by Dementia Australia 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.

Stage 2: Sensory Garden at Chiltern Neighbourhood House

The Chiltern Neighbourhood House was recently successful in securing $85,000 in Universal Design grant funding to complete stage two of the sensory garden project.

Stage one was completed by Council with funding from the Supporting Carers Locally grant.

We're working collaboratively with the Neighbourhood House to plant the sensory garden, as well as enclose the area and create a universal access point to the building.

Local artists are also coming on board to beautify the space while the Men’s Shed is involved in making wicking beds, an arbour and seating. The new space will support people with sensory needs to have a meaningful activity, as well as people living with dementia. It will complement the Memory Café for people with dementia and their carers, which begins on 6 April 2023 at 10:30 at the Neighbourhood House.

You can view the landscape design here:

Landscape Design(PDF, 984KB)

Council also supports the carer support group Changing Minds in Beechworth and is working with Carer Gateway to establish more carer support groups across the Shire. Many of the local businesses and services in Beechworth have taken steps towards being dementia friendly and Council is working towards greater inclusivity across the Shire.

In July 2021, Indigo Shire Council in partnership with the Indigo Community Dementia Alliance was successful in securing a grant of $34,267.60 from the Victorian Government to support carers. The project will be managed by the Alliance as a collective, with the Indigo Shire Council Ageing Well Officer taking the lead. This project focuses on carers of people living with dementia and cognitive decline living rurally and regionally.

Useful contacts 

Dementia Australia is the peak body in Australia to assist you with a diagnosis or caring role, or just if you have questions. You can access a large range of tips here or you can contact them on the national hotline 1800 100 500.

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.