Redlands Coast aspires to be dementia friendly

Redland City has become the second council in Queensland to be acknowledged by Dementia Australia for its commitment to creating a dementia-friendly city.

Council was officially recognised by Dementia Australia’s Dementia-Friendly Communities program at a ceremony on Wednesday 21 September.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said the national recognition was gratifying and encouraging.

“Last year Council adopted the Redlands Coast Age-friendly Action Plan to guide us in creating environments that enable older adults to live active and healthy lives and continue to participate fully in the community for as long as possible,” Cr Williams said.

“This action plan acknowledges that longer life expectancy and an ageing population will see an increased number of older adults living with dementia in the community, although it is important to note that younger people can also be diagnosed with dementia.

Marie-Louise Bone from Dementia Australia, Redland City Deputy Mayor Cr Julie Talty, and Eileen Taylor (holding service dog Hamish) and Dubhglas Taylor from Redlands Coast Dementia Community.

“We now have a Dementia-Friendly Council Action Plan.

“As part of this, Council has made a commitment to lead from the front and work towards ensuring our spaces – such as customer service centres, libraries, art galleries and the Redland Performing Arts Centre – are welcoming and easy to access for people with dementia and their carers.

“This can be done through practical measures such as appropriate signage, lighting and colours.

“Council staff will also be training to become dementia friends and educated in how to use positive language and compassionate attitudes when communicating with people living with dementia.

“I am pleased to report that is well underway and again thank Dementia Australia and the Redlands Coast Dementia Community for their support and guidance in this.”

Deputy Mayor Cr Julie Talty, who attended this week’s recognition ceremony, said Council encouraged other local organisations to join it in becoming truly dementia friendly, understanding dementia and inspiring change.

“More than 3418 or just over two per cent of Redlands Coast residents live with a diagnosis of dementia and we want them to know that they are valued, that we hear them and respect them,” Cr Talty said.

“We want to ensure they feel a sense of belonging when they access the services and activities that we all expect to enjoy.”

Dementia Australia CEO Maree McCabe congratulated Redland City Council and the Redlands Coast Dementia Community for the launch of the Redland City Council Dementia-Friendly Council Action Plan.

“It is vital we create dementia-friendly communities that address the stigma, isolation and discrimination experienced by people living with dementia, their families and carers,” she said.

“We need communities such as the one you are working to create, which are inclusive and enable people living with dementia to live well.

“I thank everyone who has contributed to the development of the Redland City Council Dementia-Friendly Council Action Plan and for everything you are doing to improve the lives of people of all ages living with all forms of dementia, their families and carers.”

Next month Council will also be supporting Redlands Coast Dementia Community’s Innovation in Living with Dementia Expo to highlight what’s happening on Redlands Coast to make it a more inclusive, supportive and dementia-friendly community.

The event will promote innovations currently available to support those living with dementia, their families and carers.