FSG Australia (FSG) recently launched the Logan division of its Dementia Friendly Communities initiative in conjunction with Dementia Awareness Month.
With the initiative already operating in the Wynnum and Ballina areas, the Logan launch was a chance to bring local business and community members together to understand how the initiative works and how to support it.
“FSG is working with local businesses and our local community, to establish initiatives specifically focused on developing a dementia friendly community. FSG aims to increase community understanding and awareness to improve the physical environment for people to access the community and feel respected, included, involved and supported to continue to contribute and participate in their community life,” FSG’s Flexible Respite In Home Program Coordinator, Paula Jakavicius explained at the launch.
In Australia, one person is diagnosed with dementia every six minutes. With more than 342,800 Australians living with dementia, this disease is progressive, debilitating and relentless. It literally robs a person of both their past and future. By 2025, the number of people with dementia is expected to increase to over 500,000. Without a medical breakthrough, the number of people with dementia is expected to be almost 1.2 million by 2056.
What is a Dementia Friendly Community?
FSG’s vision for a Dementia Friendly Community is a place where people living with dementia are supported to live a high quality of life with meaning, purpose and value. “This could mean being supported to stay at work, entering into a volunteer role, or becoming more socially involved and included,” explains Vicki Batten, CEO FSG Australia.
The aim is to enhance the lives of community members living with Dementia, their carers who care for them on a daily basis 24/7, and most importantly, develop Logan into a Dementia Friendly Community as a whole, allowing people living with dementia to feel safe, comfortable and be accepted as valued community members.
Dementia Friendly Communities already exist across the globe with Countries like Scotland, the UK, Nigeria, Sweden, Italy, Taiwan, Japan, Singapore and Korea.
Dementia is the second leading cause of death in Australia after Heart Disease. Worldwide, there are more than 46.8 million people with dementia and 131.5 million predicted by 2050. There are over 140 different types of Dementia.
(Title quote: Maria Howard, Alzheimer Society British Columbia CEO)