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Dementia-friendly cafes serve up understanding

THE Clarence community celebrated National Dementia Action Week from 20 to 27 September, with this year’s theme being ‘a little support makes a big difference’.

Dementia impacts close to half a million Australians, and almost three times as many people are involved with their care.

This year’s Dementia Action Week reminded people that just a little bit of support can make a big difference for someone living with dementia, their carers and family.

As Tasmania’s first World Health Organisation Age Friendly City and community, Clarence City Council supports two dementia-friendly cafés in Clarence – Czegs in Richmond and Moto Vecchia in Bellerive.

These dementia-friendly cafés provide a welcoming and understanding environment for people living with dementia and their loved ones.

Staff are dementia-friendly trained and both cafés are open for bookings and walk-in customers.

Clarence City Council Alderman Sharyn von Bertouch, Clarence Positive Ageing Advisory Committee (CPAAC) chair, said Dementia Action Week was a timely reminder to always think of others when out and about.

“Understanding and considering the needs of others when in public spaces is an important aspect of making sure our community is inclusive and accessible for everyone,” she said.

“These cafes are there for everyone to enjoy as well as providing a supportive and welcoming space for those in our community living with dementia and their carers.”

Jan Kasteel, a member of CPAAC and carer for her husband who is living with dementia, said that the dementia-friendly cafés in Clarence were a sanctuary where she and her husband could relax knowing their needs were understood.

“It is incredibly tiring being a carer, so taking time out is very important,” she said.

“Being in environments where this is understood is so helpful to people with dementia and their carers.

“Being aware, being present and being respectful is so important.”

Maurice Herczeg, whose family run Czegs Café in Richmond, said it was great for customers to enjoy the dementia-friendly atmosphere at Czegs.

“Being a dementia-friendly café has helped our staff become more aware of general inclusivity too,” he said.

“I hope the community continues to enjoy the friendly environment we have here and more businesses can get on board and become dementia-friendly too.”

For more information about dementia-friendly cafés in Clarence, visit www.ccc.tas.gov.au/age-friendly-city.