ADJOURNMENT: BRIBIE ISLAND DEMENTIA SUPPORT GROUP - 15 JUNE 2018

15 Jun 2018 12:12 AMSimone Wilson ADJOURNMENT: BRIBIE ISLAND DEMENTIA SUPPORT GROUP - 15 JUNE 2018

According to Dementia Australia, Alzheimer's is a condition that will have the greatest social and economic impact in our time. With an estimated 425,416 Australians living with the disease, services have never been in such high demand. That is why the Bribie Island Dementia Support Group is such a vital volunteer service in my electorate.

The group is run by dedicated locals committed to the health and wellbeing of dementia patients, their families and friends, and I am so proud to be their patron.


Last year I was moved by an experience I had with an elderly couple living in my electorate who trusted me enough to assist them during an extremely difficult time in their lives. This couple had no close family and were battling, as one of them experienced a rapid health decline due to vascular dementia. This situation is not uncommon in my electorate due to the large ageing population I represent and so I needed to learn more about their very sad and debilitating illness.


I contacted a fabulous woman by the name of Jan Donaldson of Bribie Island Dementia Support Group who shared with me some basic skills I needed to assist not only this beautiful couple in making their lives more comfortable but anyone who reached out to me for support. Dementia is a debilitating illness that strikes at the heart of so many families. Some sufferers experience a rapid decline while the decline of others is slow and gruelling. The loving couple I helped had coped with a slow decline for almost 10 years and were not prepared for a rapid decline to strike them out of the blue, derailing their very existence. With Jan's help I was able to work with them to ensure both of them had access to the health services and support that suited their needs so they could continue to live in their own home they worked so hard to build.


On 16 July the Bribie Island Dementia Support Group will be hosting a free information session about dementia friendly communities. A dementia friendly community is a place where people living with dementia are supported to live a high quality of life with meaning, value and purpose. Subjects included during the information session will be an overview of what dementia is, ways to reduce risk of dementia and the impact of dementia on a person and their families.


I encourage anyone who is caring for a loved one with dementia or just wanting to find out further information about this life-changing illness to attend this information session at Bribie Island RSL. I would also like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the RSL for its support in raising awareness for dementia in Pumicestone.