Living with dementia

Photo of six older people holding sheet music, singing and smiling

Living with dementia in Nillumbik

As with many communities in Australia, the number of people living with dementia in Nillumbik is increasing.

There are close to half a million Australians with dementia, and in Nillumbik, there are more than 1000 people with dementia.

This is forecast to increase to 2734 in less than 30 years (Victoria by local government area (LGA) (

Dementia Australia resources

Dementia Australia is the peak body for people impacted by dementia in Australia. It provides trusted information, education and support services, as well as advocacy for positive change.

If you want to find out more about available support, call the National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500.

The National Dementia Helpline is a free telephone service that provides information and advice to:

  • people living with dementia
  • people concerned about changes to memory and thinking
  • people living with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)
  • family, friends and carers of people living with dementia
  • people who work in health and aged care

In addition to sharing information and advice, the team can also:

  • provide emotional support and guidance
  • connect you to Dementia Australia and community support services and programs
  • discuss government support, including My Aged Care, National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), Carer Gateway and Dementia Behaviour Management Advisory Service (DBMAS)


Support for a person living with dementia

Dementia affects people in different ways.

Each person will find their own approach to managing the changes associated with dementia.

A good place to start is to look at the resources available on Dementia Australia’s website.

Local support groups

The following groups provide support and assistance for people living with dementia.

If you are aware of other groups or organisations who should be listed here, please contact our Positive Ageing team at


healthAbility offers several dementia-specific support groups, including weekly centre-based social programs for people living with dementia, and an outing program for people with younger onset dementia.

These programs offer flexible respite options for carers.

917 Main Rd, Eltham
9430 9100

Musical Memories Choir

The Dementia Musical Memories Choir is a pilot dementia community choir run in Nillumbik. The choir welcomes people living with dementia and their carers.

What is the choir?

The Rewire Musical Memories Choir for Nillumbik is a free, 12-week, student-run, pilot project that aims to support residents living with dementia, their families, and carers to continue to be vibrant and active members of their communities and to provide opportunities to stay socially connected.


Free for all participants for the duration of the 12-week program.

If the project is successful and the choir continues after 12 weeks, there may be a small membership fee.

If you’re interested, organiser Nick Murray, who is a Masters of Music Therapy student, will make a time to call or visit you to provide more information.

Why join this choir?

Music is an enjoyable and powerful part of our lives. It connects us with the moments in our lives. It is there for us through tough times and also in our most joyous moments. When we listen to those special songs, we remember those moments. Singing with others brings us closer together, as we share our songs, and feel the great physical and social effects of singing

Where: Hurstbridge Community Hub (50 Graysharps Rd, Hurstbridge)
When: Fridays 1:30–3:30pm
Starting: Friday 3 September 2021 (you can join after the start date)

Contact Nick at 0406 485 791 or

Rewire Musical Memories Choir

Support for a carer, friend or family member of a person living with dementia

Are you caring for someone living with dementia? There are supports for you in your caring role.

Merri Health – Carer Services

Merri Health is the Carer Gateway service provider for Nillumbik and other northern regions.

It supports carers with flexible, individualised help, including dementia advice through a Dementia Carer Consultant.

The Dementia Carer Consultant provides help with information about dementia, how to manage behaviour changes, planning for the future, and links to other dementia services.

They also support with navigating, coordinating and accessing services, counselling, respite and emergency respite and peer support.

To register for Merri Health Carer Services, call Carer Gateway on 1800 422 737.

Visit the Merri Health website for more information.

The Carers Collective

The Carers Collective is a newly formed peer support network for carers in Nillumbik. Join today to connect with others in caring roles who live locally.

Their vision is to create a space to come together, feel heard, reflect and learn new ways to improve mind, body and spirit, in a judgement free zone.

They hold free regular in-person and online meetings, planned special events, walks in nature and guest speakers throughout the year.

Find out more by visiting the Carers Collective website.

Tips for supporting carers

Visit the website to read '7 tips for supporting carers'

A little support makes a big difference (


Other resources to obtain or provide help

Positive Ageing Advisory Committee

Council’s Positive Ageing Advisory Committee has established a dementia-specific subcommittee.

To find out more about the Dementia Sub-committee and its work, and to get involved, please contact Council’s Positive Ageing Officer on 9433 3345 or email  

Become a dementia-friend

Small, everyday acts of support and understanding can make a big difference in the lives of people living with dementia, as well as their families and carers. Get involved by becoming a dementia friend.

Visit the Dementia Friendly website for more information.

Technology to help

Navigating dementia isn’t easy. A digital health app has been created by Perx Health, funded by the Department of Health and supported by Dementia Australia.

It provides a simple schedule, and allows you to track appointments and earn rewards for completing daily health tasks.

Find out more at the Perx Health website.


Learn more about dementia

Throughout the year, Council and other community organisations host events and community education sessions designed to help you and your family, neighbours and friends learn more about dementia, memory concerns and support services available to you.

Understanding dementia

To celebrate Seniors Festival 2021, Living & Learning Nillumbik has teamed up with Bolton Clarke to offer a free online session - 'Understanding Dementia'.

This session will explain what dementia is, its causes, signs and symptoms as well as how to reduce the risks. 

When: Thursday 21 October at 10am
Where: online (Zoom)

Registration essential – a link will be sent to you after registering.

Find out more and register at the Living & Learning website.

Memory concerns, dementia risk and prevention strategies

Nillumbik Shire Council in collaboration with St Vincent's Healthy Ageing Service is pleased to invite you to learn about and discuss how to stay mentally healthy as we age.

This session will explore the early signs of cognitive decline, and what we can do to keep our minds active and well as we age. (Please note: this is a repeat of the session that was held online on Sept 10.)

Come along and find out more about supports for yourself and your loved ones. Morning tea provided. 

When: Wednesday 8 December 2021
Time: 11am–12:30pm
Where: Eltham Community Reception Centre (801 Main Rd, Eltham)

Find out more and register via Eventbrite

For more details please call Aged Care Navigation and Advocacy Officer on 03 9433 3138 or email