February marked the launch of Jubilee Community Care's Dementia Support and Information Sessions. These are free sessions for carers and people living with dementia to receive support and everyday strategies to achieve a good quality of life.
Jubilee Community Care is local not-for-profit aged care service provider who has been supporting older people to live at home or with their families since 1989. They have identified that there is a need in our community to offer support to families and individuals living with Dementia.
Dementia is the umbrella term to describe over 100 diseases and symptoms with 60 to 80% of diagnosed cases being Alzheimer's. It is a collection of symptoms explained our dementia experts Shilpi and Catherine at the first session. They showed the group pictures of a healthy brain versus a brain affected by dementia, which was shrunken and had holes in it. It has been shown in studies that some find it hard to be empathetic towards persons dealing with dementia illnesses as they affect the brain and "can't be seen". The symptoms depend on what part of the brain has been affected as can the length from diagnosis through to the passing away of the person affected. Early diagnosis does help so that the person affected as well as their support network can put together a plan of action.
It is an extremely hard subject to tackle but as stated in research and agreed by the majority of those who attended the session: "Dementia is a medical problem. It is no different than a stroke or heart failure." Research shows that a quarter of people never tell people that they are living with dementia and the group spoke passionately about this. So let's remove the stigma around it and support each other.
This session did exactly that. Following the theory provided to the group by our experts, individuals shared their stories openly in a supportive environment with empathy and when requested strategies on what to do next.
The members of our community who attended left feeling supported and very much looking forward to the next group on Tuesday, 4th of April from 10am at the Toowong Bowls Club.