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Dementia friendly café open in Clarence

CLARENCE City Council in collaboration with Dementia Australia, the Tasmanian Health Service – Health Promotion, UTAS Wicking Dementia Research Centre and local businesses, has launched the Dementia Friendly Cafés in Clarence Program.

The program was developed through the council’s Positive Ageing Advisory Committee and Positive Ageing Network Forum for service providers identifying a gap in the services available for members of the community with early onset dementia.

Studies show there was an increasing prevalence of dementia in people aged 65 years plus, as well as younger onset dementia.

The committee saw a need for people to feel like they could enjoy everyday activities such as café visits with their families, carers and other like-minded members of the community.

Dementia Australia supported the council with the initiative through the Dementia Friendly Communities Program, which encourages members of the community to bring together initiatives and create contacts for people who are living with dementia.

Chair of the Clarence Positive Ageing Advisory Committee Alderman Sharyn von Bertouch said with nearly 50 per cent of people in Clarence aged 45 plus years, it was important that council worked with locals to support projects and initiatives such as this.

“We are pleased to have worked with community members to ensure our municipality provides opportunities for all to feel welcome and included,” she said.

“This is a great initiative and I encourage other cafés in Clarence to adopt this program and support our community.”

Dementia Friendly Cafés officially launched in Clarence last month with Moto Vecchia Café, the first of several local cafés to be part of the program.

Moto Vecchia Café owner Natalina Cucina said it was a wonderful program to be involved with and her team had really embraced the concept.

“My team have undertaken Dementia Friends training – we have included suitable signage across the café for these customers and our menus have been specially designed for this audience,” she said.

“Working in aged care for many years, this audience is close to my heart and I am pleased we can support the group at our café in a safe way and understand their needs.”

Moto Vecchia offers a weekly café experience for these patrons on Wednesdays from 12:30pm to 2pm, bookings are recommended on 6244 3434.

Czegs’ Café, another local business in Richmond, is also supporting the program and will begin a weekly program this month in conjunction with National Dementia Action Week from 21 to 27 September.

On Tuesday afternoons from 2:30pm to 4pm, Czegs’ will offer a café experience for people with dementia, their families and carers to meet and enjoy a dining opportunity.

For more information, phone 6260 2252, bookings are recommended.

Clarence City Council Mayor Alderman Doug Chipman acknowledged that many local businesses had been significantly threatened throughout COVID-19 and said it was promising to see businesses respond.

“Appealing to new markets throughout the recovery is wonderful, especially where people with disabilities are made to feel welcome,” he said.

Businesses in Clarence that would like to become involved in the Dementia Friendly Cafes program can contact the community development team at council on 6127 9500.