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Members at West Swan Club, a club specifically for people living with dementia.

Dementia workshops will build understanding

LIVING with dementia is debilitating enough but living with the stigma of the disease can be just as bad, which is why the City of Swan have invested in a series of workshops that aim to educate the community, carers and local businesses.

Client Services Coordinator and Community Dementia Change Champion Danielle Criddle said stigmas in the community around dementia are based on a lack of understanding.

“People living with dementia tell us one of their biggest challenges is that people’s perceptions change when they know we have dementia and they don’t know what to say to us,” she said.

“We want to say, they’re just like us, they might just need more help, they might just be a bit disorientated and trying to get somewhere.”

Almost 500,000 people in Australia are now living with dementia and part of the idea for the workshops is to educate them as well as their carers and local business employees and owners who can provide better care and empathy in the event they come across someone living with this challenging condition.

“It’s a growing area of need,” Ms Criddle said.

“There are more and more people being diagnosed with dementia now and these workshops are intended for people who might want to know more.”

One of the workshops will even use virtual reality technology so that care providers can experience the perspective of someone living with dementia.

“It will give people an idea of the challenges and what people are experiencing,” Ms Criddle said.

“This is the first time we’ve offered this here.”

Ms Criddle said she would encourage anyone who might be interested in the workshops to contact the client services team.

“We’re really happy to put on the workshops for different groups,” she said.

“We’re keen to engage with as many people as possible.”

See HERE for more information.

By Rebecca Peppiatt

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