JOINING FORCES: Gary Thomas (Alzheimer's NSW), Brad Foster (Tweed-Byron LAC), Gary White (Fire and Rescue NSW), Tweed MP Geoff Provest, Vicki and Graeme Noonan.
JOINING FORCES: Gary Thomas (Alzheimer's NSW), Brad Foster (Tweed-Byron LAC), Gary White (Fire and Rescue NSW), Tweed MP Geoff Provest, Vicki and Graeme Noonan. Alina Rylko

What we're doing about Tweed's dementia crisis

EXPERTS say the Tweed is headed for a health crisis, as prevalence of dementia and Alzheimer's is expected to grow by more than 106% by 2050.

The State Government has provided a $100,000 grant towards Alzheimer's Australia roll out of dementia-friendly communities in Tweed Heads, Myall Lakes sand Port Macquarie, to cope with the change in demographic.

Over 50 residents met on Monday at South Tweed Community Hall to learn about the Tweed Heads Dementia Friendly Community Project, with more than 20 signed up to its Steering Committee.

Alzheimer's NSW regional manager north coast Gary Thomas said the night was a "fantastic result”, ahead of the formal launch of the Tweed Heads Dementia Friendly Community Project on September 30.

"The next step will be to hold a focus group to have a look at what in the Tweed could be improved to help people with dementia and what we do already that works well,” Mr Thomas said.

Residents heard from Tweed couple Vicki and Graeme Noonan, who shared their story of coping with Mrs Noonan's Alzheimer's diagnosis three years ago, aged only 58.

Mrs Noonan said her symptoms meant she could not remember how to complete the most simple tasks, such as washing

her hair or writing,

while Mr Noonan said short-term respite was desperately needed for affected carers.

Gary Thomas (Alzheimer's NSW), Brad Foster (Tweed-Byron LAC), Gary White (Fire and Rescue NSW), Tweed MP Geoff Provest, Vicki and Graeme Noonan.
Gary Thomas (Alzheimer's NSW), Brad Foster (Tweed-Byron LAC), Gary White (Fire and Rescue NSW), Tweed MP Geoff Provest, Vicki and Graeme Noonan. Alina Rylko

Tweed MP Geoff Provest has become a "local lead champion” for the Tweed roll-out of dementia-friendly communities, and said the Tweed will have to confront challenges of the disease.

"We want Tweed to be a dementia friendly community and this is the beginning of the process,” Mr Provest said.

The launch at Twin Towns will feature a lecture by University of Sydney Professor Jacqui Close.

More Info: 02 6584 7444



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