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Media Release: Eldercare residents using art to raise dementia awareness

Tuesday, Sep 12, 2017

Residents, staff and volunteers at Eldercare Evanston Park are collaborating on an art installation in September as a show of support for Dementia Awareness Month.

Eldercare Evanston Park Lifestyle Coordinator Lee-Anne Chenoweth said the project, which involves making 100 wooden miniature human shapes and painting them purple, aims to change people’s perceptions that individuals living with dementia are no longer valued members of the community.

“Our goal for this project is to show the public that people living with dementia are, first and foremost, people – and that dementia does not become their identity,” said Lee-Anne.

The 100 wooden human shapes are being painted purple because of the colour’s associations with dignity and pride.

“This project was suggested by our Chaplain Maria Kemp and has further enhanced Evanston Park’s amazing sense of community with residents, family members, staff and volunteers all working together as a team to make and paint the shapes,” said Lee-Anne.

“We want to reinforce the message that life doesn’t end with a diagnosis of dementia – and that those living with dementia are not alone.”

Eldercare won the 2016 Alzheimer’s Australia SA Dementia Care Excellence Award and Dementia Excellence Program Manager Sarah Jamieson said it is important to keep raising awareness about dementia to ‘reduce stigma and fear, increase understanding and highlight the condition to encourage funding for research’.

“Evanston Park’s art installation is a great way to encourage conversations about dementia and will help people gain a sense of what it might be like to live with dementia,” said Sarah.

“I hope this art installation will inspire locals to maintain, or develop, connections with people living with dementia; regardless of whether they live in an Eldercare facility or not.”

Eldercare Evanston Park’s art installation will be on display on the facility’s front lawn throughout September for Alzheimer's Australia Dementia Awareness Month.