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Rotarians Boost Dementia Education

Dementia Australia (DA) is a leading national non-profit organization providing education, support, and advocacy for individuals living with dementia and their caregivers. DA recently received a seven-thousand-dollar donation from the Rotary Club of Bendigo to support educational sessions in Bendigo, as highlighted by Jade Rockliff, Community Fundraising Coordinator for the southeastern states. The Living with Dementia Program, comprising seven sessions, assists individuals in understanding dementia, managing change, relationships, future planning, and health maintenance.

Dementia, characterized by progressive loss of memory, intellect, social skills, and physical functioning, ranks as the second leading cause of death in Australia and the primary cause of death for Australian women.

Ms. Rockliff emphasized alarming statistics, noting that globally, someone develops dementia every 3 seconds. In Australia, over 421,000 cases have been reported, including 29,000 young onset cases, with 2,331 diagnosed in Greater Bendigo. With projections indicating that 1 in 4 individuals over 65 and 1 in 2 individuals over 85 will be affected, diagnoses are expected to double in 20 years.

Dementia Australia's Advocates Program empowers those affected by dementia to share experiences and drive change, offering services such as the National Dementia Helpline, free counselling, and a vast library. The Research Foundation supports studies to enhance understanding and treatment, while additional resources like the Brain Track app, Memory Lane Café, and the Dementia Guide provide tailored assistance and guidance in creating dementia-friendly environments.

The funding was raised by the Rotary Club of Bendigo through merchandise sales and public donations at their Carols by Candlelight event in December 2023.

Dr. Daniela Ionescu, President of the Rotary Club of Bendigo, highlights the widespread impact of dementia, drawing from personal experience as her mother's caregiver. She commends Dementia Australia's support, public generosity, and the selfless service of Rotarians in organizing a successful event to combat the disease



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