The Murray Bridge Community Centre has established a Connection Cafe: somewhere people living with dementia and their care partners can connect each week, share life stories  obtain services information, and enjoy opportunities for respite.

Participants have been forming strong friendships, and look forward to their weekly catch-ups with others in the group. Together they play games, work on craft projects and tackle outdoor activities, developed to foster common interests – and they laugh.

Acquired brain injury survivor Bruce Weber says he always feels accomplished after a Connection Cafe session. "You've got to get out, be with people, be part of the community," he says. "That's what it's about: stepping out. You might not know people at first, but you try to help each other."

Dementia, including younger-onset dementia, is the second most common cause of death of Australians, and the single greatest cause of disability in those aged over 65. An estimated 472,000 Australians live with dementia, and 250 more are diagnosed each day.

Dementia Australia has recognised the Murray Bridge Community Centre’s commitment to becoming dementia-friendly by acknowledging their efforts with a ‘Working towards a dementia-friendly community’ certificate.

The Centre works alongside local organisations and businesses to provide opportunities for individuals to become "dementia friends” and encourages community members to increase their awareness of the needs of people living with dementia.

For more information, call Murray Bridge Community Centre on 8531 1799.

The Connection for Dementia project is supported by a Positive Ageing Fellowship Grant from Office for Ageing Well, SA Health.