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Dementia-Friendly Communities

Georges River Council is committed to creating a more inclusive community for all people who live in, work in and visit Georges River. This means supporting all people with a disability and diverse needs to fully participate in and enjoy the social, business and community life of Georges River.  

On 22 March 2021, Council resolved to join the Dementia-Friendly Communities Program by becoming a dementia-friendly organisation. The Dementia-Friendly Communities Program is an initiative delivered by Dementia Australia that aims to reduce the stigma, isolation and discrimination experienced by many people living with dementia.

What is a Dementia Friendly Community?

There is no single, ideal model of what a dementia-friendly community looks like. No two Councils are alike, and so the plans and initiatives that take priority will reflect local needs, characteristics, and preferences.

Taken in its broadest sense, a dementia-friendly community is a place in which a person with dementia is supported to live a high-quality life with meaning, purpose, and value. People living with dementia have described this as:

  • Active involvement in the community to maintain social contact and health.
  • Improved physical environments including appropriate signage, lighting, and colours.
  • Support to remain employed or opportunities to volunteer.
  • Access to appropriate health and care services to support them to continue to live at home for as long as possible.
  • Access to convenient and affordable transportation options.

A dementia-friendly community will be friendly for everyone.

Become a Dementia Friend

Small, everyday acts of support and understanding can make a big difference in the lives of people living with dementia, their families and carers.

Creating a dementia-friendly community starts with becoming a Dementia Friend. As a Dementia Friend, you will build an understanding of:

  • Dementia.
  • The challenges faced by people living with dementia.
  • What a dementia-friendly community means to people living with dementia.
  • How to support people living with dementia to stay connected.

Register to become a Dementia Friend

After becoming a Dementia Friend, you may want to:

  • Ask your friends and family to become Dementia Friends.
  • Raise awareness by becoming a Dementia Friends host.
  • Make your community group more inclusive.
  • Contact your local dementia alliance. 

Join the St George and Sutherland Shire Dementia Alliance to find out what dementia-friendly work is happening in our community. 

St George and Sutherland Shire Dementia Alliance

The St George and Sutherland Shire Dementia Alliance is a body that advises the community care sector on issues relating to people living with dementia in the areas of St George and Sutherland Shire. It consists of community care services/business in the area and has a person living with dementia and two carers of people with dementia as representatives from the community. 

The Dementia Alliance is guided by the Dementia Advisory Group – a group of people living with dementia and their carers who guide the work of the Alliance. This group meets four times per year at 3Bridges Carss Park office. 3Bridges Community supports the administrative side of the Dementia Alliance.

If you live in the area and would like to get involved, please visit Dementia Australia, or contact Jacinta Craine via phone: (02) 9710 0263, or email:  

  • What is dementia?
    • Dementia describes a collection of symptoms caused by disorders affecting the brain. It is not one specific disease.

    • Dementia can affect thinking, memory and behaviour. Brain function is affected enough to interfere with someone’s normal social or working life.

    • No two people experience dementia in the same way.

    • It is essential to get a medical diagnosis when symptoms first appear.

    • People often lead active and fulfilling lives for many years after their diagnosis.

  • What are the signs and symptoms of dementia?

    Early signs of dementia can be subtle and may not be immediately obvious.

    Common symptoms include:

    • Memory loss.

    • Changes in planning and problem-solving abilities.

    • Difficulty completing everyday tasks.

    • Confusion about time or place.

    • Trouble understanding what we see (objects, people) and distances, depth and space in our surroundings.

    • Difficulty with speech, writing or comprehension.

    • Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps.

    • Decreased or poor judgement.

    • Withdrawal from work or social activities changes in mood and personality.

  • How is dementia diagnosed?
  • Who gets dementia?

    Dementia can happen to anybody, but the risk increases with age. It depends on a combination of age, genes, health and lifestyle.

    • Over the age of 65, dementia affects almost one person in 10.

    • Over the age of 85, dementia affects three people in 10.

    • People under the age of 65 can develop dementia (called ‘younger onset dementia’), but it is less common.

    • Dementia can sometimes be hereditary, but this is quite rare.

    Dementia is not a normal part of ageing.

  • What causes dementia?

    Many different conditions can cause dementia. In most cases, why people develop dementia is unknown.

    The most common types of dementia are:

    Read more about different forms of dementia.


Seeking Support

Dementia is progressive. Symptoms often begin slowly and gradually worsen over time.There is no known cure for dementia. There are healthcare professionals, medications and other therapies that can help with some symptoms, and support you to look after your health and wellbeing.

Support is vital for people living with dementia. The help of families, friends and carers can make a positive difference to managing the condition and living well.


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