CALADENIA Dementia Care is expanding its specialist programs to people living in the more rural parts of Yarra Ranges.
Manager Sarah Yeates said the Mooroolbark-based service would now offer additional services to people with dementia and living in Wandin, Seville, Woori Yallock and Launching Place.
"Based on the demographic of these areas, we knew there was going to be a lot of ageing people in the Wandin corridor, plus we are full to capacity at the centre, so it is about being mobile and taking the services to the people," she said.
The expansion announcement was made in the lead-up to Dementia Awareness Week, which runs until Friday.
Ms Yeates said the programs benefited not just people with dementia but gave carers a break.
"Programs like this are incredibly important. If the carers don't get a break they won't keep caring. Plus, for people with dementia, it is important to get out and have a laugh."
Caladenia provides social and active day programs for people with early dementia and more advanced dementia. Carers can access information and resources, carer support groups, referral to other services and social lunches.
"We are hoping to expand into overnight respite care and are trying to fundraise for that at the moment," Ms Yeates said.
The service has so far raised $100,000 towards the goal of $1.7 million. Ms Yeates said they had received little funding support from the government.
"They put a lot of money towards research and finding a cure — which is obviously important — but money is needed for these grassroots programs and the situation is only going to get worse," she said.
In the Yarra Ranges, the number of people living with dementia is predicted to increase by more than 200 per cent by 2050.
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