Younger Onset Dementia Program Coordinator
United War Memorial Hospital
“I coordinate an age appropriate community based service for people under the age of 65 who are given a diagnosis of dementia. With younger onset dementia, people generally don’t have the other co-morbidities, they are usually physically fit and healthy, and so it’s about helping maintain their health and their social connections. Our day trips include things like the Nan Tien Temple in Wollongong, the beach at Terrigal, we’ll do a bushwalk or BBQ, or in Centennial Park we’ll hire the bicycles and go for a ride.
We want people to maintain as much independence and normality as possible, for as long as possible. We are just a group a friends going out for the day. It’s about making people feel they are still valuable and worthwhile and they have things to offer, because they do.
If we can have a positive impact on somebody’s week and help maintain their quality of life, that’s really lovely. I think the most rewarding thing for me is seeing that we can have an impact on people’s lives. We’re not saving the world, but the guys love coming here.”