Tag Archives: dementia friendly communities

Webinar: The Dementia Friendly Kiama Community Pilot Project

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Your next online Webinar “A Meeting of The Minds”, is being presented by Nick Guggisberg and DAI member Dennis Frost,¬†“The Dementia Friendly Kiama Community Pilot Project”

July 27, 2016 – 1.30 PM (PDT – San Francisco) USA
July 28, 2016 Р6.30 AM Sydney (AEST)  AUSTRALIA

Please note: we have set up this event based on the time zone in Australia, to ensure the registration system does not close ahead of the Webinar Рbut  Рit is being held on July 27 in the USA/UK/EU and July 28 in Australia/NZ/Japan.

Register here…

Many people with dementia now see the Kiama DFC Pilot Project as the GOLD STANDARD of any Dementia Friendly Community project or initiative in the world. Please join us to find out why. 
Last month, Nick Guggisberg and Melissa Andrews, on behalf of the project, received a National Local Government Innovation Award in the Access and Inclusion category. 
Congratulations to them, and to the full team behind the pilot project, as well as the members of the Southern Dementia Advisory Group (alias, the Kiama DAG’s), led by Dennis Frost.

About the Webinar session: This Project is a partnership between Kiama Council, The University of Wollongong (UOW), Alzheimer’s Australia and the Kiama Community. The project uses an Action Research model to track progress, and works within a community development framework.

Basic Structure of the Project

  • Kiama Dementia Alliance ‚Äď individuals, service & peak organisations, and people with dementia.
  • Dementia Advisory Group – People with Dementia (PWD) and their carers/supporters/partners, who advise on and oversee the whole project including participating in all education sessions.

Having an active Dementia Advisory Group from the outset makes this project unique.

Action Plan includes:

  • Training volunteers to support PWD to participate in community activities,
  • Information sessions, public lectures and education to raise awareness,
  • Making the local environment more accessible

Project Objectives:

  • Increased community awareness and understanding of dementia
  • Broadening of opportunities for social participation for PWD
  • Dementia-friendly organisations & businesses
  • Improvements to the physical environment through using the UOW Environmental Audit Tool
  • Mapping of Dementia-friendly organisations and places

Already there is anecdotal evidence of substantial progress towards these objectives.

Initial research surveys conducted at the start of the project will be repeated in 2016 to measure change in the Dementia-friendliness of Kiama.

About Nick: Nick spent the first half of his adult life experiencing broader Australia, playing and teaching music throughout the whole continent while largely based in Alice Springs.  Nick drew on his broad range of life experiences during his studies to hone and shape these experiences and insights into skills and knowledge that he could apply professionally as a Social Worker. Since graduating with a Social Work degree, Nick has largely worked in the Community Development field working with Social Housing Tenants, managing a Youth Service, managing a Foster Care program, and currently works as the Manager Community & Cultural Development for Kiama Municipal Council. It is in his role at council that Nick oversees the council’s involvement in the Dementia Friendly Kiama Project. As a Social Worker, social justice is at the heart of everything Nick turns his attention to, so when the opportunity to facilitate Kiama Council joining the partnership with Wollongong University and Alzheimer’s Australia to pilot dementia-friendly strategies in Kiama, Nick jumped at the opportunity.

About Dennis: Dennis was diagnosed with younger onset Front-Temporal Dementia 3 years ago at age 59. Prior to that worked part time as a teacher in TAFE and part time as IT support engineer in TAFE as well as running his own  IT support business for 25 years. Since diagnosis Dennis has been working tirelessly to promote awareness of Dementia, to advocate for people with Dementia and to break down social stigmas associated with dementia. Dennis is chairman of the Dementia Friendly Kiama Project’s Dementia Advisory Group (and some might say a real DAG). In April 2016 Dennis will travel to Budapest, Hungary to share the successes of the Dementia Friendly Kiama Project  to the 31st International Conference of Alzheimer’s Disease International.

Wednesday July 27, 2016 (USA/CA/EU/UK):

Start times:

  • 1.30 p.m. Pacific Time (San Francisco);
  • 2.30 p.m. Mountain Time (Denver);
  • 3.30 pm Central Time (Chicago; Des Moines)
  • 4.30 p.m. Eastern Time (Washington DC);
  • 1.30 p.m. Vancouver, Canada;
  • 10.30 a.m. in Honolulu, Hawaii;
  • 9.30 p.m. in the UK;
  • 10.30 p.m. in Paris and Budapest

Thursday July 28, 2016 (AU/NZ/JAPAN)

Start times:

  • 6.30 a.m. in Brisbane;¬†Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne;
  • 4.30 a.m. in Perth;
  • 6.00 a.m. in Adelaide;
  • 8.30 a.m. in Auckland, New Zealand;
  • 5.30 a.m. in Tokyo, Japan

The WEBINAR will run for 1.5 hours.

To check the time in your city, if not listed above, please open the link here: 


You will receive an email confirmation that contains login details and instructions on how to join the online Webinar. 

Please note: Attending our events supports everyone connected to dementia, whether the person diagnosed, our care partners, or the professionals and research community who work to support us and improve our lives.

We charge a minimal fee of $45 USD for anyone who is employed. Most will be able to claim the cost of the tickets as a tax deduction.

Students are charged¬†$15¬†USD¬†– please send proof of your student ID to¬†[email protected]

We have to rely on an HONOUR registration system, and trust that if you are employed, you will not instead register as an unemployed family supporter (carer).

The modest fee for this webinar supports your education and our community, and also supports our work, which directly enables people with dementia to more proactively and positively support themselves.

Register here…


If you need a¬†certificate of attendance, please email us at¬†[email protected]

The Webinar is FREE for people with dementia and unemployed family carers.

Your donations are always appreciated and do make a difference:

  • $7.00¬†USD¬†covers the average cost of one of our monthly bank fees
  • $50.00¬†USD¬†covers the average of the cost of our monthly Zoom subscription fee
  • $100.00¬†USD¬†covers the average monthly cost of the MailChimp subscription
  • $300.00¬†USD¬†covers the current cost of 3 months of website management fees

Option: Our nonprofit partner, PayPal charges us a transaction fee to cover fees and other processing costs, to securely process your donation. Please consider adding an additional small amount to your donation so 100% of your donation amount goes to Dementia Alliance International. Donations can be made here

From lab to home: AD in the 21st Century


Screen Shot 2015-11-21 at 5.17.04 pmThe last three days I have been representing Dementia Alliance International at an ADI Regional meeting and Philippine Neurology Association conference in Manila. In fact, getting here at all was a major challenge, as due to the terrorist attacks in Paris, and Mr Obama and other heads of countries being here for APEC, security was really increased, and the airport cancelled for all flights for over 12 hours, of course, on the day I was to depart from home. On top of that, there have been bushfires and a heatwave back home, with catastrophic bush fire warnings, and we have been unable to go home earlier than we initially booked!

Anyway, the hospitality in Manila has been exceptional, and the friendliness and hospitality of the people here truly spectacular. The dinner last night was a highlight, with all regions of the country putting on a performance, including the neurologists and other medical doctors. It was extremely competitive, and very entertaining.

The conference itself was perhaps more for neurologists, as it was hosted by the Philippine Neurology Association, and many of the speakers presented the scientific data and pharmaceutical side to dementia, but it was an important step for DAI to be represented here, and especially to encourage them to include people with dementia in their programs in the future.

After the Dementia Friendly Communities session today, which I presented at along with five other presenters from the region, including Japan who started this movement about 20 years ago, it was enlightening, and we all learnt a lot from each other.

The thing I am most pleased about, is that DAI will be able to support people with dementia in the countries represented here, such as India, Indonesia, Hong Kong and Singapore, and though this channel of support for each others work, we can give a stronger more global voice to people with dementia.  We have had our first support group, for people with dementia in Nigeria, and I foresee there will be many more to follow all over the world. Mick Carmody, our support group facilitator and host and also a fabulous chap and poet, will certainly have a lot to get him our of bed every single morning!!

There has been a lot to take in, and it has been very tiring, but I will write up a full report especially on the DFC session today, for another blog.

Editor: Kate Swaffer

Copyright: Dementia Alliance International 2015


Dementia friendly: who is doing it well? #DAM2015 Day 14

Screen Shot 2015-09-14 at 9.52.31 amFor Day 14 of Dementia Awareness Month 2015, it seemed important to talk about the dementia friendly communities initiatives going on around the world.¬†Being dementia friendly is less about being ‘friendly’ – we should all be friendly and kind¬†–¬†and¬†more more about:

    • Human rights
    • Respect
    • Non discrimination
    • Full inclusion
    • Our right to citizenship
    • Autonomy
    • Equality
    • Equity
    • Access
    • Dementia Enabling Environments
    • Support for disAbilities

Becoming dementia friendly is not rocket science, and to begin with, organisations who are promoting the dementia friends messages and campaigns, need to start within, so that they too, are actually walking their own talk.

The only community that DAI knows of, authentically working on their own community becoming dementia friendly, is the Kiama Municipal Council, south of Sydney.

You can read it in full on their website, but why they are unique, is due to their willingness and commitment to set up a Local Dementia Advisory Group, made up of people with dementia and their support partners if needed.

The Kiama Dementia Friendly Communities Pilot Project:

The project partners, together with people living with dementia and their supporters, as well as interested members of the Kiama community, developed the Kiama Dementia Action Plan in 2015. The plan was informed by people living with dementia in Kiama via research undertaken by the University of Wollongong (see below).

Two local groups formed to develop and implement the Action Plan.

  • The¬†Dementia Alliance includes people with dementia and their supporters, and relevant stakeholders (e.g. members from Kiama council, transport services, and aged services)
  • The¬†Dementia Advisory group which is made up exclusively of people with dementia and their supporters. They will oversee the activities of the Dementia Alliance, as well as develop their own activities.

Go to the DEMENTIA Illawarra Shoalhaven website for their full article on their efforts towards becoming dementia friendly. It is admirable, and we, people with dementia, are waiting for the rest of the world to catch up by setting up their own Local Dementia Advisory Groups in their own DFC projects and initiatives.

Without that, this work¬†continues to be, mostly, “about us, without us.”

Editor: Kate Swaffer
Copyright: Dementia Alliance International 2015