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Monday, June 21, 2021

Neighbourhood for people with dementia promised

The Canberra Liberals have promised Canberrans a purpose-built neighbourhood for people with dementia, to encourage social interaction and foster a sense of belonging.

If elected in October, the Liberals would work with The Neighbourhood to design the facility and remove any barriers to ensure the neighbourhood provides connected living, community and social interaction for residents, as well as 24-hour support.

The Canberra Liberals said such a facility could be the first in Australia; however, a similar facility was set to open recently in Tasmania.

Liberal spokeswoman for seniors Nicole Lawder said the Liberals “envision” a facility with at least 15 homes that could each house six residents.

“It’s important to give people living with, or impacted by, dementia a sense of community, wellbeing and ongoing support,” she said.   

Dementia Australia CEO Maree McCabe said the organisation estimates there are nearly 6,100 people living with dementia today in the ACT, and the number is expected to rise to almost 18,900 by 2058.

“Each person living with dementia is unique and we encourage all governments and aged care providers to reimagine the delivery of aged care services to make care more person-centred and individualised for the person receiving care,” Ms McCabe said.

She said while the organisation is not across the full details of the plan from the Canberra Liberals, any decisions from government, the sector and community that make Australia more dementia-friendly are welcomed.

“Throughout any planning and development, it is crucial that people living with dementia, their families and their carers are consulted at every stage of the pipeline,” Ms McCabe said.

Ms Lawder said the Canberra Liberals want “Canberra to be the best place to live for everyone”.

“Canberra has a growing population of older people and it is important that they can have warm, safe and caring communities.”

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