People living with dementia and their care-givers often experience ‘shrinkage’ of and ‘being dropped’ by their circle of friends, and being misunderstood by their friends and family. Carers also experience a decrease in the emotional support from the person they are caring for as the disease progresses. The stigma associated with dementia can sometimes lead to loneliness for both the person living with dementia and their carers and they can feel they are no longer welcome in the community.
Providing a destination for people to come together and enjoy activities, such as choir and circus performances that provide a sense of connection and belonging, can make people feel and affirm that they are still welcome in the community. These destination events can make a major difference to the well-being of people living with dementia.
Memory cafés provide an opportunity for people with dementia, carers and the community to interact, laugh, and talk together. Regular social connection and social support are important for carers with emotional support being critical in reducing the psychological vulnerability of carers. The Connect Café launched on 26 June 2018 for a 10-week program facilitating a space at the Wharf Precinct Gnomon Room and providing a supporting destination for people to come together.
The continued enthusiasm and interest in the dementia-friendly project reflects the community spirit in Central Coast.
For more information, or to register, contact Heidi Willard, Strategy and Policy Officer on tel. 6429 8900 or via email at [email protected]