Dementia forum to be held in Wynnum

DEMENTIA AWARENESS: John Quinn said community members were encouraged to attend the event and gain a better understanding of people with dementia.
DEMENTIA AWARENESS: John Quinn said community members were encouraged to attend the event and gain a better understanding of people with dementia.

A FORUM will be held to educate community members and health professionals on how they can help people with dementia make the most of life with the condition.

The forum will be held on March 5 2019 at Wynnum Community Centre, and will focus on conveying information to doctors, allied health professionals and the wider community.

Speakers from the Queensland Brain Institute, Queensland University of Technology, Dementia Australia and Centacare will discuss topics including the impact of exercise on the brain, available care services and the Getting Home Safely project, which helps people with dementia safely enjoy activities in their communities.

Dementia awareness advocate John Quinn said as a person living with the condition, he understood the importance of having medical professionals, police and fellow community members help people with dementia maintain a high quality of life.

"Our focus audience is one which can often be forgotten, (including) doctors, allied health (professionals), the police and other professionals," Mr Quinn said.

Mr Quinn said he was prescribed medications for several different conditions before being given the correct diagnosis in 2010.

Early and accurate diagnosis, as well as a positive outlook by medical professionals, would greatly benefit people with dementia, he said.

"We’re simply told to go home and get our legal affairs in order," he said.

At diagnosis, people living with dementia aren’t given any hope.

"But we need to be given hope that we can still continue to participate in the things that interest us.

"Doctors need to talk with those newly diagnosed so that we can be encouraged to continue participating in social activities, volunteering or working with support.

"If the forum can impart the fact that we still need some hope to live as well as we can and continue engaging with our local communities, these professionals may encourage us to undertake strategies that can safely provide enjoyment and improve cognitive health." 

DEMENTIA: Mr Quinn said people living with dementia should be encouraged to continue living active and productive lives.

DEMENTIA: Mr Quinn said people living with dementia should be encouraged to continue living active and productive lives.

Mr Quinn said people of other professions, community members and people with dementia and their families were encouraged to attend to gain a better understanding of the condition.

"Dementia is everyone’s business," he said.

"Each day hundreds of us are engaging with everyone in the community. How can it not benefit the whole community to be more aware about and have a better understanding about dementia?"

"Awareness about how to support a person without doing things for us and having some empathy and understanding of possible difficulties are the (focal points) of dementia-friendly and inclusive communities."

Mr Quinn said reducing the negative stigma of dementia was also a key target of the forum.

"We can only do this (reduce the stigma) with support, from those close to us and the wider community, so there’s better understanding of what dementia is, and how it can impact our lives each day," Mr Quinn said.

"We are not immediately incapacitated at diagnosis and therefore unable to do anything.

"We’re still the same person we were."

The forum will be held at the Wynnum Community Centre on Tuesday, March 5 from 6pm until 7:15pm.

The event is free and people do not need to RSVP.