On Tuesday, 25 September 2018, the City of Melville will celebrate the second birthday of its popular Garden City Memory Café, a monthly get together for people living with dementia and their families and carers, originally launched to celebrate Dementia Awareness month in 2016.
Dementia is the leading cause of death among Australian females and the second-highest leading cause of death in Australian males. More than 400,000 Australians are living with dementia and the City of Melville has the second-highest number of people living with dementia when compared to other local governments in Western Australia.
Memory Café was established to give people with dementia and their families and carers, a place to socialise and connect with others. It is an initiative of Melville Age-Friendly Accessible Business (MAFAB) network members, Garden City Shopping Centre and Coffea Fine Espresso, who set up the café after an Ardross couple Wendy and Keith suggested the idea to the City and AMP.
The idea has been so successful it has influenced other local governments and organisations to introduce memory cafes in their own communities. As a result, 13 other Memory Café’s have rolled out across Western Australia, all helped by the City of Melville and MAFAB network who have shared their knowledge, ideas and strategies with other businesses wanting to create a more age-friendly, dementia friendly and inclusive environment for their customers.
Deputy Mayor Matthew Woodall said supporting initiatives like Memory Café was a key focus area for the City as part of its Age-Friendly Melville Plan, which identifies the ways in which the City can help promote positive active ageing.
“One of our outcome areas under our Age-Friendly Melville Plan 2017-2021 is to support initiatives that enable residents with dementia and their families or carers to live well, given that a significant number of our residents are affected by this condition,’ said Deputy Mayor Woodall.
“We are excited to celebrate the second birthday of the memory café, during Dementia Awareness Month, which promotes opportunities for older residents to feel that they matter and belong in the community.
“If you are living or know somebody living with dementia and haven’t been to the Memory Café before, or if you haven’t attended for awhile, please join us for the birthday party on Tuesday, 25 September from 9.30am to 11.00am and share the celebration with us.”
The City has also collaborated with a number of external businesses and organisations on other initiatives that support people living with dementia and their families and carers. These include:
- Setting up the Melville Age-Friendly Accessible Business (MAFAB) network to support local business to become more accessible and age-friendly
- Establishing Art and Soul workshops for people living with dementia and their carers’. In these art therapist-led workshops, participants create art while listening to live classical music, and a concert is held every three months to showcase art created at the sessions
- Partnering with Attitudinal Healing WA to run regular, accessible tours of Heathcote Cultural Precinct, specially designed for elderly people and people living with dementia.
- Supporting LoveFest 2018, a photo exhibition and full day workshop focused on highlighting the importance of human connection, the challenges of dementia and strategies to address them
- Organising and hosting talks by world-renowned dementia expert Michael Verde in 2015 and 2017.
- Setting up a Living Well with Dementia page on the City’s website, which features interviews with local residents living with dementia as well as volunteers, business operators and others.
The City of Melville was also the first Local Government in Western Australia to join the World Health Organisation (WHO) Age-Friendly Global Network in 2010, further reinforcing its commitment to creating an inclusive and accessible environment for people of all ages.
Further information on what the City is doing to be an accessible, inclusive and age-friendly city can be found at www.melvillecity.com.au/agefriendlyplan.
Information on how to live well with dementia can be found at www.melvillecity.com.au/our-community/age-friendly-melville/living-well-with-dementia.