The North Metro Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre acknowledged and celebrated Dementia Awareness Month with a short film festival in Nedlands on Thursday 4 September.
Seventy people, including carers and their loved ones, health professional students and service providers, attended the event. The focus of the day highlighted the message that people can continue to live engaged and fulfilling lives after diagnosis.
Short films from Australia and overseas illustrated inspiring stories of those whose lives were severely impacted by the diagnosis. They described how they made adjustments that led to new and fulfilling interests within the limitations of the illness.
One gentleman in the UK took up photography, which enabled him to preserve his memories, while enjoying an outdoor pursuit in a social setting. View this video on YouTube here.
Another film depicted a gentleman who took up cycling. This increased his fitness and he acknowledged that he found himself noticing and appreciating the scenery and aspects of daily life around him that he had otherwise missed when he was driving. View this video on YouTube here.
A highlight of the day was a local production by film maker Janetta Hayden from The Story Culture titled “On The Right Track” which told Bob and wife Val’s story (pictured left). Bob and his loyal dog Shah take twice daily walks along the nature trails in the hills near their home. Shah, who has been professionally trained, leads Bob safely home while Val has some respite. Some of the challenges and positive aspects of their daily lives were generously shared by Val with the audience.
Speakers from Brightwater At Home Services, Alzheimer’s Australia and the McCusker Nurse presented an overview of services available to support people who have a diagnosis of dementia and their carers.
The morning ended with the opportunity for attendees to share their experiences informally. Positive feedback has been received from the attendees who were able to access information and advice to meet their needs.
With over 2.5 million Australians providing care for family members or friends, and with this number set to keep on growing, it is important that carers are aware of the support that is available for them to enable them to continue in their carer role.
The ILC is the provider of the North Metropolitan Respite and Carelink Centre which provides information about services available to support carers, and also assists with funding for short term, emergency, planned or unplanned respite.
The Centre also hosts monthly ‘Dementia Education and Training for Carers’ workshops which cover a range of topics to assist carers in their caring roles.
Click here to view and register for the upcoming three workshops.