2 May, 2024

Celebrating 10 years of fighting against dementia

The Lowood and District Friendship Group celebrated 10 years of supporting people living with dementia, as well as their carers.

Celebrating 10 years of fighting against dementia - feature photo

The group aims to raise awareness of dementia, improve people’s understanding of prevention and help people live well with dementia.

A commemorative lunch was held at the Lowood Bowls Club on Tuesday April 23, with Federal Member for Blair, Shayne Neumann, attending and congratulating the group on the significant milestone.

“I attended the very first meeting of the Lowood and District Friendship Group back in 2014, so I really wanted to be a part of this special occasion today,” he said.

“It’s been wonderful to be part of this journey over the last decade, and I want to wish them a happy 10th birthday and commend the terrific work they do in the community.”

Mr Neumann said dementia was on track to become the leading cause of disability in Australia in the next few years.

“This is why the former Federal Labor Government agreed to make it a National Health Priority in 2012,” he said.

“And it’s why the Albanese Government is now working with state and territory governments to develop a new 10 year National Dementia Action Plan, which is expected to be in place from this year.

“The plan will provide short, medium and long-term actions over the next 10 years to improve the wellbeing and quality of life for people living with dementia, their carers and families.”

The Lowood and District Friendship Group was first established by Lions Club of Lowood president Yvonne Hawkins, and Lynette Reck, with the Lions Club being proud to support the project.

“Dementia is challenging and complex not only for those who have it, but for their family members and friends as well,” Yvonne said.

“The group started because we felt it was important for locals to find the necessary support and information, considering dementia affects people in this area just like it affects society in general.

“The group appreciates the support of the local community in the past 10 years, and we look forward to continuing to provide this service.”

In 2024, it is estimated that more than 421,000 Australians live with dementia – including more than 2,500 people in Ipswich and the Somerset Region.

Mr Neumann said it was vital for people experiencing early changes in cognition to access information, support and services as early as possible.

“People in rural communities find it harder to access services, so this is where initiatives like the Lowood Friendship Group are vital,” he said.

Mr Neumann said it was important to understand that dementia “affects all families in our communities, across every region”.

“People living with dementia will benefit from early diagnosis, earlier treatment and greater social connection,” he said.

“I thank Yvonne, Lynette and all the volunteers at the Lowood and District Friendship Group for the great work they do, and congratulate them on 10 years of support for the Lowood community.”

The group meets at 9.30am on the fourth Tuesday of the month, at the Open Door Gallery, Lowood.


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