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

Memory Care Cafes

healthAbility, with the support of volunteers, has three Memory Care Cafes in Nillumbik.

Memory Care Cafes are social groups is aimed at carers and the person they care for (with memory loss, dementia and or mild cognitive impairment). It provides an opportunity to connect with others in a welcoming place.

To read more about Memory Care Cafes, read this article in the Warrandyte Diary, written by a volunteer.

Hurstbridge Memory Care Café

When: every Monday 1.30pm-3.00pm
Where: Hurstbridge Community Hub
Address: 50 Graysharps Road, Hurstbridge 3099
Cost: $5 per session (we may also access government or home care package funding for this program)

Eltham Memory Care Café

When: 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of each month
Time: 1.30pm-3.00pm
Where: St Margaret’s Anglican Church
Address: 78–81 Pitt St, Eltham 3095

Diamond Creek Memory Care Café

When: 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of each month
Time: 1.30pm-3.00pm
Where: St John’s Anglican Church Hall

Address: 61 Main St, Diamond Creek 3089

Please RSVP (including dietary needs) to Rachel Dunn from Social Support Groups on 9430 9125 or email

This is an initiative from the members of the Positive Ageing Advisory Committee.

Musical Memories Choir

The dementia REWIRE Musical Memories Choir is a community choir for people living with dementia, their families, and carers.

What is the choir?

The Rewire Musical Memories Choir for Nillumbik is a THERAPEUTIC COMMUNITY CHOIR 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.


There is a term fee of $110 per person attending. However, alternative arrangements can be discussed in special circumstances. The cost of running the choir is subsidised through donations – we welcome any suggestions!

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.


Hurstbridge Community Hub
50 Graysharps Rd, Hurstbridge, 3099

The choir will run using a hybrid delivery model - you can join us ONLINE using Zoom if you cannot make it in-person.


Fridays (Term 1 starts 14th January 2022) 1:30-3:30pm

Afternoon tea provided

For more information

Nick Murray (Registered Music Therapist) on 0406 485 791 or

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 (


Open Minds - Dementia Friendly Alliance

Are you passionate about making Nillumbik a more dementia friendly place for people living with dementia, their friends, family and carers?

People living with dementia are entitled to stay active in their communities. They have a right to take part in the activities and services they enjoy. But maintaining these connections isn’t always easy.

With the support of our communities, people living with dementia can continue to live the life they choose. They can engage in the activities that are important to them.

Join Open Minds – Nillumbik’s Dementia Alliance and help drive change. Let’s work together to support people living with dementia to continue engaging in the activities that are important to them.

Members we are seeking include, but are not limited to:

  • Individuals living with dementia
  • People who have friends or family with dementia
  • Local businesses
  • Community groups and sporting clubs
  • Not-for-profit service organisations
  • Schools

We have monthly in person meetings, alternating between Civic Drive Greensborough and Hurstbridge Community Hub.

Please do not hesitate to contact Council’s Positive Ageing Officer if you have any questions or accessibility requirements.

03 9433 3345 or

Complete an expression of interest to join

Information pack

Download a copy of the 'Dementia Information Pack’, which is a resource that is specially curated for people living with dementia in Nillumbik, and their family and carers.

The resource pack has been developed by Open Minds, Nillumbik’s Dementia-Friendly Alliance, and carers from the Memory Care Café in Hurstbridge.

There is a lot of information to take in, and there may be many decisions to make. The guide was developed by others going through this journey, who wanted to help people who are also going through a similar journey. 

The Information Pack is also available hard copy - please contact Council’s Positive Ageing Officer on 9433 3345 or to be sent a pack. 

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.

To be notified when upcoming community education sessions will be held, please contact Positive Ageing on 9433 3345 or email