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Ukrainian and Serbian family carers

Ukrainian and Serbian family carers

Photo by: Parks Victoria

Ukrainian and Serbian family carers enjoyed Jells Park excursion

Friday 20 September, 2013

In partnership with Parks Victoria, Alzheimer’s Australia Vic recently hosted a special park excursion for people living with dementia and their carers from Ukrainian and Serbian communities.

A group of 25 attended the event on Tuesday 17 September to mark Dementia Awareness Week 2013. Activities included tai-chi, walks and a tour of Jells Park with a local park ranger who discussed the history of the park and its flora and fauna.

Earlier this year, Alzheimer’s Australia Vic launched its Carers Peer Support Groups within nine different Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities. The objective of this program is to support the unpaid carers of people living with dementia within the community in their day-to-day lives.

The program invites carers from Japanese, Korean, Turkish, Spanish speaking, Croatian, Serbian, Lithuanian, Ukrainian and Mauritian communities to engage in activities aimed at improving their health and wellbeing including physical exercise and mental stimulation. Most importantly they will be provided with social and emotional support.

“Our Jells Park excursion will lift the mood of all involved. These kinds of events allow them to feel accepted and provide them with information about the services available to support them in their caring role,” said Claire Emmanuel, Diversity Officer, Alzheimer's Australia Vic.

“This excursion is about the health, emotional and physical well-being of participants. The beautiful outdoor environment is great for bonding and developing supportive friendships amongst peers.”

“There is a lot of stigma surrounding dementia in general, and this can be heightened In CALD communities. There are barriers for people in these communities when it comes to using our services because often they just don’t know about them. Transport, social support and cultural concerns also come into play. In many cultures people feel an obligation to look after their loved one at home rather than use any of the services available,” Ms Emmanuel continued.

 “Research has proven that getting out into nature and parks is good for people’s health and wellbeing. I’m glad the participants obviously enjoyed this program and I hope that they feel encouraged to continue visiting their local parks in the future,” said Parks Victoria Community Activation Coordinator, John Kenwright.

The Carer’s Peer Support program, under which the excursion takes place, is funded by the Victorian Department of Health in Victoria under the Health Commission Support Grants Program. The excursion itself has been funded by Parks Victoria through the Healthy Parks Healthy People Active in Parks Program.

The excursion was one of a series scheduled as a result of a partnership between Parks Victoria and Alzheimer’s Australia Vic. The program will include excursions for eight different carer groups to parks around Melbourne and Geelong.

Each year in September Alzheimer’s Australia hosts ‘Dementia Awareness Week’ which aims to educate the community about dementia and the services we provide. In 2013 the week will run from 16 to 22 September, encompassing a range of activities across Victoria and Australia.

More than 320,000 Australians are currently living with dementia – and this amount is projected to reach almost 900,000 by 2050. It is our country’s third leading cause of death and there is no cure.

Dementia Awareness Week 2013 is supported by financial assistance from the Australian Government.

Alzheimer’s Australia is the charity for people with dementia and their families and carers. As the peak body, it provides advocacy, support services, education and information. More than 320,000 people have dementia in Australia. This number is projected to reach more than half a million by 2030.

National Dementia Helpline: 1800 100 500

An interpreter service is available

(The National Dementia Helpline is an Australian Government Initiative)

Media enquiries

Kate Milkins
0437 129 031

Parks Victoria media centre

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