Christine has over 30 years experience working in both the community services and community development fields in local government and community organisations. She is the Director Community Development at the City of Melville and is passionate about the difference local government can make to their local communities.
Under her leadership, Melville has been recognised for their innovative practices that include membership to the World Health Organisation Global Network of Age-Friendly Communities; leading community and neighbourhood planning practice; innovative responses to community health issues, community safety and community engagement including participatory budgeting projects.
She is Chair of the Local Government Professionals Network for Age Friendly Communities, and also represents local government on the Age Friendly Interagency Group convened by the Department for Communities.
The Age Friendly Communities model in Western Australia has been undertaken for the last 10 years and the State is a recognised world leader in this field. The model is one of partnership and collaboration between two tiers of government – state and local governments. It has also proved to be compatible with the Dementia Friendly approach which works in collaboration with the age friendly communities’ model.
Integrating Age Friendly and Dementia Friendly
Jason Burton originally trained as a Mental Health Nurse in the UK. He has specialised in working with people with dementia for nearly 30 years, both in the U.K. and in Australia.
After immigrating to Australia, Jason took up a position with Alzheimer’s WA and in his role as Head of Dementia Practice and Innovation he leads the organisations focus on developing innovative dementia care philosophy and practice, research and establishing evidence based services and emerging sector partnerships.
Jason has academic and practice experience in developing contemporary enabling environments for people with dementia through dementia design and implementing person centred approaches both in care services and in dementia friendly communities.
Western Australia has had an established approach (over ten years) to the World Health Organisation’s Age Friendly Communities that has seen the State recognised as an Affiliate Member for the Global Network Age Friendly Communities in June 2017. A key component to the model is the collaborative and coordinated approach between two levels of government – State and Local which has provided strength and sustainability to the way that the work is applied.
Within the context of a strong and coordinated Government response to Age Friendly Communities, Alzheimer’s WA recognised that it was important to respect and value this work. Rather than compete or duplicate with a dementia friendly approach, it would be sooner adopted and far more sustainable if the principles and activities of dementia friendly communities and age friendly communities could be integrated.
In 2013 Alzheimer’s WA partnered with the Government of Western Australia to commence creating Australia’s first dementia friendly state. Similar to many other parts of the world, dementia is quickly becoming Western Australia’s number one health and disability burden issue. With approximately 70% of people living with dementia at home and continuing to access their community a new approach to community support and inclusion is needed.
This workshop will explore this unique collaborative approach and present findings from a study involving 300 people living with dementia across Western Australia into the lived experience of dementia in the community; the enablers, disablers and priority areas for change. It will also identify opportunities for a new and integrated model that enhances the age friendly approach by ensuring the needs of people living with dementia are identified and included.
The workshop will provide a practical opportunity to identify activities and initiatives that help support both aged friendly and dementia friendly integration and allow the participants to explore new learnings that can be taken back to their communities. It will explore some of the barriers to change and how these can be overcome as well as ideas for engaging communities in this work.
This will be an interactive style of workshop where participants can workshop their own thinking and ideas of how to progress dementia friendly principles within the age friendly context identifying both the challenges and the opportunities unique to their context.