Scalabrini Village urges communities to stay connected during Dementia Awareness Month

Dementia awareness: Maria and Minas Kritharis have been married for 45 years. Last September, Minas had a fall and his health began to deteriorate. By October, he was diagnosed with dementia and moved into Scalabrini Village in Chipping Norton. Picture Anna Warr.

Dementia awareness: Maria and Minas Kritharis have been married for 45 years. Last September, Minas had a fall and his health began to deteriorate. By October, he was diagnosed with dementia and moved into Scalabrini Village in Chipping Norton. Picture Anna Warr.

This year Scalabrini Village is going one step further for Dementia Awareness Month and holding multiple information forums around Sydney.

Two of the forums will be held at it’s Chipping Norton and Austral villages next week.

According to Alzheimer's Australia NSW, there are more than 353,800 Australians and up to 50 percent of people residing in aged care facilities are living with dementia.

To bring these figures closer to home, in Liverpool it is estimated that more than 820 locals are currently living with dementia and that figure could will rise to more than 3,800 people by 2050.

Scalabrini Village’s Staying Connected forums aim to inform the community about Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

Sharonne Pearce [pictured with the Kritharis’] is one of three dementia excellence clinical consultants working at Scalabrini Villages.

“I look at improving the lives of people living at residential care with dementia,” she said.

“Over 50 percent of our residents have a dementia diagnosis… people do live at home very well for quite some time.

“But it can be isolating for the person and the family caring for them. At Scalabrini the family is just as important.”

Ms Pearce said the forums help to demystify the condition and remove fear for families and people living with dementia.

“We do know that if the families understand the disease process and how it impacts on the person, it helps them understand what is going on and their consequently their ability to cope increases,” she said.

“If you understand the brain and how it works then you can understand then and live well if you are diagnosed with the disease. Many people continue to live very fulfilling lives with a diagnosis of dementia.

“We want people to come along [to one of the forum] and enjoy some morning tea, they will be able to talk to professionals and if they wish to they can go on a tour of the facility and I will be there to answer any specific questions.”

Forum details:

  • Scalabrini Village Chipping Norton: 10am to 12pm on Thursday, September 1, at 199 Epsom Rd, Chipping Norton. To register contact Leanne Fitzpatrick on 9426 4227.
  • Scalabrini Village Austral: 10am to 12pm on Friday, September 2, at 65 Edmondson Rd, Austral. To register contact Stella Timpano on 8795 4121.
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