What is a dementia-friendly community?
A dementia-friendly community is a place where people living with dementia are supported to be engaged in community life.
Visit OurPlace Maps for dementia friendly places in Kiama, and view this video about the Dementia Friendly Kiama project:
In Kiama, we aim to:
- Increase community awareness and understanding of dementia
- Provide new opportunities for social participation and involvement in the community for people with dementia including volunteering, participation in clubs and groups
- Support organisations to become dementia-friendly and train staff to better communicate with people who have dementia
- Improve the physical environment in the community, including improved signage.
How is Kiama becoming dementia-friendly?
A partnership was established between researchers at the University of Wollongong, Alzheimer’s Australia and Kiama Council in 2014 and initial funding provided by UOW Global Challenges Program.
The project partners, together with people living with dementia and their supporters, as well as interested members of the Kiama community, developed the Kiama Dementia Action Plan in 2015. The plan was informed by people living with dementia in Kiama via research undertaken by the University of Wollongong (see below).
Two local groups formed to develop and implement the Action Plan.
- The Dementia Alliance includes people with dementia and their supporters, and relevant stakeholders (e.g. members from Kiama council, transport services, and aged services)
- The Dementia Advisory group which is made up exclusively of people with dementia and their supporters. They will oversee the activities of the Dementia Alliance, as well as develop their own activities.
Download the Dementia Friendly Kiama Flyer.
In 2014, research was undertaken by the University of Wollongong to better understand the experiences of people living with dementia in the Kiama area. Many of the research activities involved people with dementia and their primary supporter/carer.
Research activities included interviews about everyday experiences of living in Kiama, mapping of the local area to highlight positive and challenging aspects of the social and physical environment, and an audit of the Kiama town-centre to identify physical areas for improvement. Other research activities included surveys with members of the Kiama community and local services/businesses to understand their perceptions and experiences of people with dementia in the Kiama area. To read the results of the formative research view the Dementia project update flyer (released November 2015).
An evaluation was conducted from May to June 2016. Fore more information regarding the evaluation research findings, download the Evaluation Flyer (released November 2016).
What can I do?
We are interested in gaining the participation of people with dementia, their family members friend or carers, people from service clubs, shopkeepers, council workers…in fact just about anyone who is interested in joining with us to make Kiama more dementia friendly!
For further information about the Dementia Friendly Kiama Project or to get involved please contact:
Monika Schofield, Project Officer, Dementia Friendly Communities
Kiama Municipal Council
Telephone: 02 4232 0444