Friendly way urged in dementia plan
TOODYAY is on the way to becoming a dementia-friendly town.
The shire council at its last meeting approved a project with that aim, in partnership with Alzheimer’s WA.Read more
Toodyay is the fourth WA town to adopt the program, following York, Manjimup and Margaret River.
The idea is to help people living with dementia to maintain meaning and purpose in their lives by increasing community understanding of the disease.
In June this year the council had to say no to involvement because of a lack of funds. Alzheimer’s WA now has funding and will provide a project officer.
The organisation has arranged a public meeting to be held in the Toodyay Community Centre at 10.30am on Tuesday December 11.
Northam resident Genny Budas, a frequent visitor to Toodyay, welcomed the news.
Genny was a carer for her husband Frank for eight years before his death two years ago.
Frank was 77 when he developed dementia after a prostate operation.
“It’s a lonely life as a carer,” Genny said.
“People stay miles away from you, even friends.
“You need people to understand, to take notice of your existence as a carer. And, maybe, just share a cup of tea.”
Genny said people in the early stages of dementia made silly little mistakes.
It was important for others in the community to understand, to overlook those little things and not frighten or alienate people already becoming fearful about their future.
Toodyay is facing a heightened challenge in aged care. The town has the second highest proportion of people over 55 in the state.
The proportion of people over the age of 65 in WA is just under 14 per cent. In Toodyay the figure is 23.5.