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Ladies Luncheon to support inclusion


Ladies Luncheon to support inclusion for people living with dementia

Lifting the stigma around dementia will be one of the main focuses of Dementia Auckland’s inaugural Luxury Ladies Luncheon on April 12th 2018 in Mission Bay.

Guest speakers at this year’s event include Associate Professor Lynette Tippett from the Centre for Brain Research, and Billie Jordan – NEXT woman of the year 2016 and founder of The Hip Op-eration Dance Crew.

Billie’s experience working with elderly through her hip hop classes has taught her a lot about dementia, with some of her students having the condition. She believes people with dementia shouldn’t be treated differently.

"We need to get to a point where people with dementia are welcomed in every mainstream activity in society, from workplaces to sports teams. Leaders within these environments need to make adaptations so people with dementia are catered for and aren't excluded,” says Billie.

“When I established my first hip hop dance crew for senior citizens I welcomed everyone into it regardless of whether they were sight or hearing impaired, living with dementia, or had a physical disability. Sure it made for a complex teaching environment, but so what? It was just another challenge and made the successes of the group more meaningful," she says.

The dancers in Billie’s hip hop group are aged between 73 and 98 years old. Her goal is to remove the stigma around dementia and she will be discussing how it shouldn’t be a barrier to living life to the full.

Billie’s fresh and inspiring perspective is just what those affected by dementia need. "Because I had no experience with old people or dance when I began teaching the group it worked to my advantage as I had no preconceived ideas about what was achievable. I was determined no-one would be left behind no matter what. That dogged belief in their ability was contagious and soon they began to believe in themselves as well," she says.

Rod Perkins, Dementia Auckland Chief Executive, says “We’re holding this luncheon as a way to engage with carers and those interested in finding out more about dementia in a relaxed and enjoyable setting, as well as to raise funds for the support services our organisation offers.

“We have seen many benefits over the years from carers coming together to share experiences, heartache and the challenges they are facing – it’s all part of why we do what we do”.

As well as engaging guest speakers, the Ladies Luncheon will also include a three course meal, beverages, and entertainment. People can reserve a seat at bit.ly/luxuryladieslunch

- Ends -

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