Jun 10, 2009

$18,000 for Haberfield’s Ella Centre

Minister for Ageing, Justine Elliot and Member for Grayndler, Anthony Albanese today announced $18,000 for the Ella Centre’s ‘D-Caff’ to help further support families, carers and people living with dementia in Sydney’s inner west.

The $18,000 from the Australian Government’s National Dementia Initiative has been provided to expand ‘D-Caff’ – the support café for carers of people with dementia.

Mrs Elliot and Mr Albanese made the announcement while opening the Centre’s sensory garden called SOLARA which was completed with the assistance of $29,250 in funding under the Australian and NSW Government’s Home and Community Care program.

Minister for Ageing Justine Elliot said it is estimated that there are more than 200,000 Australians currently living with dementia .

“The Rudd Government is committed to addressing the challenges of our ageing population at both a national level and through funding local, hands on services that directly help their communities, like the Ella Centre,” Mrs Elliot said.

Member for Grayndler, Anthony Albanese said the Ella Centre provides social and respite support to hundreds of people living in Sydney’s inner west each year including through the D-Caff initiative.

“Expanding D-Caff will help provide a stronger support network for working carers of people with dementia and their families.

“The program specifically targets carers who are working and allows them to get together on a Saturday and share their experiences over a cup of tea or coffee,” Mr Albanese said.

D-Caff is held on the first Saturday of each month at Lilies on the Park Café, Bicentennial Park.

Mrs Elliot said: “In addition to announcing the $18,000 for D-Caff, I am delighted to be here with Mr Albanese to open this innovative sensory garden.

“I congratulate everyone involved in developing this state of the art garden” Mrs Elliot said.

SOLARA was designed by the Ella Centre and occupational therapy students at the University of Sydney.

It is based on research that indicates natural environments can provide a range of health benefits, including reduced stress and lowered blood pressure.

The Ella Centre intends to expand SOLARA to include musical based apparatuses and an herb garden.

Mr Albanese said: “The development of the sensory garden is another initiative that will help support people in our area who have dementia.

“The Centre has been working towards this garden with community fundraising, so I am pleased the Rudd Government could provide some funding to see it completed” Mr Albanese said.

The garden has wheelchair access and encourages residents living with dementia to go outside and enjoy or work in the garden.

The Australian Government has committed more than $120 million a year through the Dementia Initiative and more than $194 million a year to the National Respite for Carers Program which funds more than 600 community-based respite services across Australia. It delivers services in a variety of settings – including carers’ homes, day centres and overnight cottages.

Minister for Ageing Justine Elliot and Anthony Albanese announced $18,000 for the Ella Centre’s ‘D-Caff’ to help further support families, carers and people living with dementia in Sydney’s inner west.