Changing the way we experience ageing

Meeting Centre Support Program participants enjoying some outdoor activities in the local Carss Park area
Meeting Centre Support Program participants enjoying some outdoor activities in the local Carss Park area

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With our aging population, dementia poses a serious challenge to both the health system and the economy. 

It is the second leading cause of death in Australia, according to Dementia Australia, with the disease being responsible for more than fiver per cent of all male deaths each year and more than ten per cent of women.

More than 413,000 people suffer from dementia, including one in ten people over the age of 65 and 30 per cent of people over 85. 

It can be one of the most difficult and debilitating conditions imaginable for those afflicted. It can also be just as draining for the loved ones who care for them. 

That’s why 3Bridges Community is working towards destigmatisating dementia and changing the way we support people living with the condition. Their Carss Park facility was recently nominated as a finalist in the ACSA Aged Care Awards for its pioneering contributions to change the way we experience ageing.

Leaders from 3Bridges Reframing Ageing team have been working with local businesses to develop Carss Park and the surrounding area as a dementia and aged friendly community.

Meeting Centre Support Program participants and coordinators showing off their artwork as part of the program.

Meeting Centre Support Program participants and coordinators showing off their artwork as part of the program.

A central tenant of the plan are the members of the Meeting Centre Support Program, all of whom are currently in the early stages of dementia. As such they are aware of their own needs and are able to advise the Westfield Hurstville on ways to make the centre more accommodating for people living with dementia.  

3Bridges has also integrated the latest dementia care research from the Netherlands into their services to help reduce progression and enable more efficient, effective support pathways following diagnosis.

On Friday, August 3, 3Bridges Community will be sponsoring the “3Points Connect” event at Hurstville titled, “Is D the new C?” This event will challenge and improve the community’s approach to brain and mental health.

The keynote speaker will be the CEO and co-founder of Dementia Alliance International, Kate Swaffer who, since her own dementia diagnosis eight years ago, has completed two undergraduate degrees in psychology and creative writing and a Masters of Science in Dementia Care.

3Bridges director of reframing ageing Amal Madani will speak about her study tour to the Netherlands and the opportunities for increasing community connection at the meeting centre.

The workshop will introduce the latest information from The University of Sydney Brain and Mind Centre Project Synergy, focusing on innovation in communication technology and collaboration for youth mental health. The sessions will consider how this project can contribute to better technology and support for older people.

The event will take place between 8.30am and 1.30pm at St George Community Housing, Level 2, 38 Humphreys Lane, Hurstville. To register for the event go to www.3bridgesconnect.org.au or call 1300 327 434.

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