September has been Dementia Awareness Month and¬†during this time we have been busy conducting and participating in a number of dementia-related activities. Through the great work of Anna Mackinlay and her role in Indigo’s Changing Minds project we have facilitated dementia training for community members and local businesses to fulfil our goal of Beechworth being a dementia-friendly community. The launch of Beechworth Neighbourhood Centre’s Photo Journal was a powerful and moving way of illustrating the effects of dementia on local people and their families.

We also continue with our own Changing Minds project within Beechworth Health Service where we are implementing a model of care based upon the 12 Montessori principles. The initial project in Stringybark Lodge is nearing completion and we have committed to implementing it in The Acacias in early 2016. Particular thanks must be paid to Kim Wright who has been the glue that held things together and Stringybark Lodge staff who have been challenged by, but receptive to new ideas. These people epitomise our approach to person-centred care.

We are grateful for the strong relationship we have with Alzheimer’s Australia Vic and we are learning from them both as individuals and as an organisation.

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