The Mayor of Woollahra, Toni Zeltzer, visited The Cottage in Rushcutters Bay to spend a morning with the staff and clients of our dementia day centre. The Wentworth Courier accompanied her and photographer Danny Aarons captured her (right) playing bingo with our clients.
At the morning tea clients met not only the Mayor but also a group of dementia nurses and other allied health professionals from St Vincent’s and Prince of Wales Hospitals.
The Mayor, who originally noted she only had about 40 minutes in her tight schedule ended up staying nearly two hours, playing Bingo and trivia with clients and talking to staff about the Cottage.
The Mayor heard that the comfort of the clients could be improved with new blinds, which she immediately organised. She felt a new kitchen would be a great improvement and that air conditioning would also be make the Cottage more comfortable especially in summer.
The heritage harbour front property is managed by the Council and leased to South Eastern Community Connect to provide therapy and support for members of the community with dementia.
“Up to twelve people visit us every day to spend time enjoying each other’s company, engage in therapeutic activities including art, and to stimulate mind and memory”, says Amy Drewe, the Cottage's coordinator and diversional therapist.
The results of the therapy program at 'The Cottage' speak for themselves. Regular assessments of the clients shows that for most of them deterioration clearly slows down during their time at 'The Cottage.' Five clients recently returned the same or even slightly better results on their cognitive tests.
'The Cottage' is for people who have been diagnosed with low-medium level dementia. Amy assesses new clients with a loved one or carer of a prospective client, to see if 'The Cottage' is a suitable environment for the person’s medical needs and personal interests. Where possible she matches them with clients that share common interests or histories.
For those who attend The Cottage, door to door transport, morning tea and lunch are provided, at a cost of $30 per day. The Cottage currently has vacancies on several days.
To book an assessment of for further information contact Amy Drewe on 02 8971 9012 or visit the Cottage page on this website
Next Friday, bring a plate of food from your culture and make new friends from around the world - at the Welcome Dinner!
South Eastern Community Connect has received a grant of $49,002 from Bayside Council to launch a new mental wellbeing program in the community.
Titled 'Community Wellness Mentoring and Empowerment Program' the project will deliver training for up to 30 members of the community to develop the skills and feel empowered to support those more vulnerable members of our community.
Participants could include community members, local business owners, carers, community workers or agencies/service providers in both health and non- health related services, or neighbours of people affected by mental health issues.
"We want to give community members the skills and the knowledge they need to recognise and support community members with their mental health recovery journey which includes assisting them to meet their mental, physical, social and emotional needs, explains Vida Tebyani, Manager of Family and Multicultural Programs at South Eastern Community Connect.
"Mental illness concerns us all. It is not a visible condition, but it is present in all parts of our community. When mental health deteriorates without intervention and support we see families become unstable, elderly become isolated and employees struggle in their workplace. The mental wellbeing of the people in our community affects us all, and we need awareness, compassion and skills to support the vulnerable and our community as a whole", Ms Tebyani adds.
The program will have two components, one being the support training provided through a qualified trainer, the other being a suite of community wellbeing workshops which will respond to the expressed needs and interests of residents and people with mental health issues. These programs foster good mental health and resilience, healthy lifestyles, community engagement and help promote networks of social support at a local level.
"Over a period of two years we hope to see this program kickstart a transformation of our community to become more inclusive and more focused on the recovery of all who are affected by mental illness", Ms Tebyani says.
Photographic portraits from our community are now on display throughout Eastlakes Shopping Centre.
Thank you to everyone who participated in our photo project - the portraits look fantastic and showcase our diverse community, the friendships and the neighbourhood spirit throughout the generations.
Come and see the display! Photos are on show at;
Here are some of our portraits: