Dementia training for Rotary members

Members from the Rotary Club of Brisbane Water after their dementia training

Several members of the Rotary Club of Brisbane Water have participated in an interactive training session focused on understanding dementia for their Forget Me Not Cafe project.

Organised and run by members of Rotary, Forget Me Not Cafe provides a safe place on the Peninsula for people living with dementia to socialise and interact with others.

President Peter Mote said the session was facilitated by fellow Rotarian Bobby Redman, who was endorsed by Dementia Australia to provide the training.

“It covered a basic understanding of dementia and the experience of people living with dementia,” Mote said.

“This will help us to overcome some of the misunderstandings and myths around the disorder and will assist us in engaging appropriately with the group of people that we host at our Forget Me Not Cafe.”

Rotary Club member and publicist Di Bartok said the target client base was those who had dementia but still lived at home and found it challenging to go outside and socialise.

“It’s a project we thought the community would be interested in as there are a lot of people who would benefit from it,” Bartok said.

“Even in the early stages of dementia, cafés can be very overwhelming and confusing when there’s lots of noise and people, so we have created a quiet place in the Umina Beach CWA hall.”

The cafe is also open to relatives and family carers who may feel overwhelmed or isolated in their role, giving them a chance to socialise with other carers.

Committee member Cherie Simpson said the volunteers served the customers coffee, tea, and biscuits while interacting with them.

‘’This is a place where those living with dementia, and still living at home under the care of family, will be able to meet as if they were going to a regular cafe, to enjoy morning tea, chats and, if they want, some music from their era,’’ Simpson said.

The café has a limit of 20 people due to COVID-19 restrictions and practises all social distancing and safety regulations, including a QR code check-in.

Forget Me Not Cafe is open every fortnight, with the next session to be held on February 22 at the Umina Beach CWA hall, 2 Sydney Ave, Umina Beach.

For further information or to book a spot, call Di on 0404147743 or Heather on 0414446177.

Hayley McMahon