COMMUNITY INITIATIVE: Danah Wood, Cassandra Whadcoal, Julie Huntly and Noosa Councillor Ingrid Jackson at NoosaCare's Dementia Friendly Memory Support Pack launch.
COMMUNITY INITIATIVE: Danah Wood, Cassandra Whadcoal, Julie Huntly and Noosa Councillor Ingrid Jackson at NoosaCare's Dementia Friendly Memory Support Pack launch. Caitlin Zerafa

Helping relieve stress of a dementia diagnosis

A DEMENTIA diagnosis can be a difficult time for a patient, their family and carers, and for the past 18 months NoosaCare has been hard at work to create an invaluable go-to tool to help with the journey.

The Dementia Friendly Memory Support Pack was launched last Tuesday and is designed to be an easily accessible resource within the Noosa community.

NoosaCare secured a Dementia Australia grant in 2017 and through the development of an advisory board began planning their dementia friendly community initiative.

Memory support nurse Cassandra Whadcoal said this was an important pack for people living with dementia.

"It enforces and enhances their lives, it allows them the opportunity to makes choices for their own future before things become too advanced,” Ms Whadcoal said.

"When people get their dementia diagnosis at first it can be really overwhelming and they don't know where to start.

"This basically gives them all the tools and the contacts and that support to try and get the care that they need.”

NoosaCare's Danah Wood said the pack was not only for patients and their family but for anyone in the community, as there could often be a stigma around people with dementia.

Ms Wood said this could be as simple as a customer always asking the same questions or seeming "forgetful” and how noticing signs like this would create a more understanding environment.

"For people who read it, it helps to remove the stigma,” she said.

"The only way we are going to reduce the stigma is with education and awareness,” Ms Whadcoal added.

Councillor Ingrid Jackson, as part of the advisory board, said it was a disease close to her heart, with her 93-year-old mother having experienced increased memory loss in recent years.

"I can vouch with my own experience with my mum there is a lot to take in and a lot to do,” Cr Jackson said.

"We need to foster a community that is supportive and inclusive.”



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