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20150708 Connecting Community through Dance

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20150708 Connecting Community through Dance

  1. 1. Draft Abstract Arts & Health Australia Conference 17-19 November 2015 (Closes 31 st July 2015) 2015wderuyter@unitingcarenswact.org.au ph 0417419238 ‘Engaging Our Local Community’ Uniting Care NSW/ACT The Big Move – Dancing for Dementia Précis:- “Dementia is the single greatest cause of disability in older Australians aged 65 yrs or older and the third leading cause of disability burden overall1 ”. Uniting Care through the “Big-Move” http://thebigmove.org.au/ is engaging the community through dance. Big Move Stockland Nowra 9 March 2015 Background:- By 2018 there will be more people in Australia aged over sixty than less than sixty. The challenge for our community is how we reorientate social and physical capitali . An example of how we reorientate social capital is the reasons why we congregate and use public spaces. Traditionally this has been in the town squareii . A modern day example of a town square is the shopping centre which attracts a full cross section of the community. For many people its attraction is to experience a form of social inclusion. For many people with dementia their “bucket list” priority is to get out the front door after they experienced being lost. In a recent Federal Government study more than half of the respondents stated… “a fear of becoming lost was a major barrier to them going out and enjoying activities”. https://www.aacqa.gov.au/about- us/the-standard/february-2015/social-isolation-still-a-major-issue-for- people-with-dementia . For many their first place they become lost in is their local Shopping Centre. On 9th March 2015 Uniting Care held the “Big Move”. Across NSW ACT In association with Alzheimer’s Australia, Stocklands, Schools and Councils the Big Move was the first to be held nationally in local shopping centres such as Shellharbour Square and Nowra Fair. By using danceas 1 http://www.fightdementia.org.au/understanding-dementia/statistics.aspx Dance and be part of the fun and part of the solution with Uniting Care, Stocklands, Schools, Congregations & your Local Council.
  2. 2. Draft Abstract Arts & Health Australia Conference 17-19 November 2015 (Closes 31 st July 2015) 2015wderuyter@unitingcarenswact.org.au ph 0417419238 the medium for the message of awareness we can reorientate the use of the ‘public square’ to promote the message of the Big Move, which is social inclusion. Strategy:- The Big Move held on the 9th March 2015, leading into senior’s week 2015 adopted the strategy of supporting the age friendly regional initiative. The purpose is to establish the use of and aged friendly symbol http://www.fightdementia.org.au/common/files/NAT/20130604_NAT_PUB_Paper32CognitiveImpairmentSymbol.pdf Not unlike adopting a strategy of Neighbourhood Watch for children walking home from school who felt in danger to look for houses that had the neighbourhood watch symbol to seek refuge and assistance. For many elderly people an increasing number of people are affected with cognitive impairment (dementia) and they easily become lost in shopping centres. By applying the principles of Neighbourhood watch in large shopping centre such as Shellharbour Square and Nowra Fair, the practice potentially changes the behaviour of the shopper from one seeking to purchase the best buy to also looking for those who appear lost and asking; are you ok? This approach is based upon the strategy of Wesley Mission in Kings Cross of; “I see you”, which in this example is a person needing assistance rather than just another shopper. It humanises us to others and as a community we move from an awareness of ourselves to an awareness of each other. Promoting Dementia Awareness through Dance benefits the community by:- 1. Reorientation of social capital that supports social inclusion. 2. Social Inclusion of a marginalised community – people family and friends affected by Dementia. 3. Changing the nature as to how we shop. Encouraging people to watch out for the most vulnerable through social engagement in public spaces such as shopping centres. 4. Using the medium of dance supporting the role of Alzheimer’s Australia, corporate philanthropy, local Congregations, Councils Local Government (Complements Age Friendly Regional Initiative) and Schools. Big Move Stockland Shellharbour “Shout-out” 9 March 2015 i In sociology, social capital is the expected collective or economic benefits derived from the preferential treatment and cooperation between individuals and groups…they tend to share the core idea "that social networks have value" i .
  3. 3. Draft Abstract Arts & Health Australia Conference 17-19 November 2015 (Closes 31 st July 2015) 2015wderuyter@unitingcarenswact.org.au ph 0417419238 ii A town square is an open public space [1] commonly found in the heart of a traditional town used for community gatherings. Other names for town square are civic center, city square, urban square, market square, public square, piazza, plaza, and town green…

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