Cr Kathy Duff, Pat Henry, Kathy Crane and Marie-Louise Bone, the Queensland co-ordinator for the Dementia Friendly Communities initiative (Photo: Supplied)

September 29, 2021

Proston will work to become a Dementia Friendly Community after a recent workshop raised awareness of just how widespread the condition is likely to become over the next few decades.

The decision was made at a community education session held in Proston on Saturday, September 11.

The session was attended by more than 83 people from all parts of the Proston community, and addressed by several speakers who spoke on topics related to supporting people living with dementia and their carers.

Guests heard that right now it is estimated more than 450,000 Australians are living with dementia, and this is expected to grow to more than a million by 2058 without a medical breakthrough.

However, people living with dementia can continue to live the life they choose and engage in the activities that are important to them if they have the support of their communities.

The information session was an initiative of Proston community nurse Kathy Crane and was funded with a grant from Dementia Australia, a Commonwealth-funded organisation that advocates for dementia sufferers and their carers.

Kathy said her initial motivation was a local man who suffered from dementia, and the caring and compassionate way Proston’s community gathered together to look after him and ensure he was always kept safe.

This had prompted her to form a dementia support group and apply for a grant so the community could become better informed about dementia.

The community education session was held at Proston’s Community Hall and was opened by Cr Kathy Duff.

Speakers included dementia carer Pat Henry, Murgon doctor Graham McAllister, Proston QAS officer-in-charge Nolan Jones, Senior Constable Jon Gordon, from Proston police; the QCWA Country Kitchens cooking team, Lucy English, from Lutheran Care; and Jenny Gemmell, from South Burnett Care.

Marie-Louise Bone, from Dementia Australia, spoke about the national Dementia Friendly Communities initiative.

This aims to create inclusive suburbs or towns where people living with dementia are able to continue living the life they choose.

“It was wonderful to see such a great cross-section of our local community come along to hear these speakers, and it was gratifying to see such a positive response from those who attended,” Kathy said.

“Our committee wants to thank all the speakers who gave up their Saturday to come along and share their knowledge and expertise.”

The meeting led to the formation of a Dementia Friendly Community committee.

Its first action is to invite a facilitator from Dementia Australia to conduct four free, in-depth dementia education sessions at Wondai RSL on Monday and Tuesday, October 18-19.

“We are hoping that people from across the South Burnett will take advantage of this education opportunity,” Kathy said.

“We’re holding these sessions at Wondai because it’s easier for many people to get to.”

The sessions on Monday, October 18, will be:

  • Worried About Your Memory? (1:00pm-3:00pm)
  • Carer Gateway information session (3:30pm-4:30pm)
  • Understanding Dementia (6:00pm-8:00pm)

The Tuesday morning session will look at communication and dementia (9:30am-12:30pm).

For more information, contact Kathy Crane on 0407-091-019.

Members of the QCWA’s Country Kitchens group discussed safety in the kitchen for people living with dementia
(Photo: Supplied)
A large crowd packed Proston’s Community Hall on Saturday, September 11, to learn more about how to transform the town into a Dementia Friendly Community (Photo: Kathy Duff)

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