What if making a few small changes made a tremendous impact on more than two million Australians? That’s exactly what a group of businesses in Woollahra are doing to celebrate people living with dementia in a week-long event on the newly transformed Dementia Friendly Queen Street.
Dementia Friendly Queen Street starts on Monday 19 June and will run daily, with special offers, activities and performances, and the opportunity for people living with dementia and their carers to connect in a friendly environment.
Behind this inclusiveness revolution is the Woollahra Dementia Alliance (WDA), supported by Woollahra Council and Holdsworth. The alliance is focused on improving accessibility, inclusiveness and connectedness.
Creating a dementia-friendly community is at the heart of the WDA’s action plan. This includes a number of small changes, like clear signage for businesses and bathrooms, improving access, considered lighting, and staff education.
With around 450,000 Australians living with dementia, and nearly 1.6 million involved in their care*, dementia-friendly communities are essential to supporting local people live quality lives.
“People living with dementia can find it frustrating or exhausting to navigate the world around them,” says Woollahra Dementia Alliance Chairman Dr Allan Shell. “What we’re doing by creating dementia-friendly spaces is about responding to the needs of the community, and ultimately making it a better place for everyone.”
The small but important changes taking place in the local area will not only improve life for people living with dementia and their carers, but also create better spaces for people living with disability, parents with prams, people with English as a second language and older residents.
“It’s fantastic to see local businesses leading the way in promoting an inclusive and dementia-friendly approach. Woollahra Council is proud to support this initiative and the work being done by the Alliance. We need to work together to see the change we want for people living with dementia and their carers,” says Mayor of Woollahra, Councillor Susan Wynne.
Businesses on Queen Street have rallied behind this community goal, more than willing to think about what they can do to support customers with differing needs, and make their spaces inclusive and approachable.
“Our business (Reads) is situated in the heart of the village and knows what a community looks like in all its diversity. Meeting the needs of every customer, Reads has over 45 years’ experience as an accessible, community-friendly store. We look forward to supporting the Woollahra Dementia Alliance,”
Mary Read, Reads of Woollahra.
“As a proud business within the Woollahra community, we’re looking forward to being involved in the upcoming Woollahra Council and Holdsworth dementia movement in May. At Woollahra Hotel, we’re all about inclusiveness and connecting people within our community, including those living with dementia. Pop by for a complimentary drink with any main meal purchase from 12-1pm during the event week.”
Simon Barbato, General Manager of Woollahra Hotel.
“Dementia is close to my heart and because of that, we jumped at the opportunity to be involved in this great event. At Summers Floral, we’re welcoming to everyone in our community regardless of their background or experiences, including people living with dementia. We’re thrilled to open up our space for people living with dementia not just during this week, but every day.”
Fleur Vander Straaten, Summers Floral Woollahra
Tanora, Woollahra Hotel, Reads, Luxe, Parterre, Summers Floral, BIKEast, Woollahra Library, Woollahra Council, Holdsworth, Woollahra Dementia Alliance and more!