Dementia on the agenda

With almost a quarter of the Shire’s population over the age of 65 Murrindindi Shire Council has joined the global movement to develop and maintain Age Friendly Communities.

Together with community and agency partners, Council has been working on ways to enhance the lives of older residents in the Shire’s communities. Work has been guided by a community survey conducted in 2016, which highlighted three key priorities for promoting wellbeing among older residents. These included opportunities for social connection, appropriate infrastructure for those with reduced physical mobility and enhanced access to health and care services and information.

Murrindindi Shire Council General Manager Corporate and Community Services Michael Chesworth said Council had been working with our network of local Community and Neighbourhood Houses to deliver a range of social, learning and health and well being activities for older community members.

“One really important initiative is the forthcoming Dementia Awareness Program, which involves a series of information sessions around the Shire.

“Dementia Australia recorded 278 people living with dementia in Murrindindi Shire last year. And with an estimated growth rate of 4.2 percent per year between 2017-2050, it is likely that many Murrindindi Shire residents will be caring for, or have contact with, a dementia sufferer, in the future. So we think it’s critically important to start preparing for this issue now,” Mr Chesworth said.

The three information sessions on dementia will look at different aspects of the disease. In Kinglake on Monday 21 May, the information session will explore how memory works, changes in memory and what to do about memory issues. In Yea on Thursday 31 May, the information session will teach participants how to communicate and interact more effectively with a person living with dementia. At the last session, on Wednesday 6 June in Alexandra, participants will learn how a healthy brain works, what dementia is and why it causes behavioural change.

For more information or to RSVP to attend these dementia awareness sessions contact Murrindindi Shire Council Age Friendly Communities Project Officer Sally MacDonald on (03) 5772 0365 or email


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