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Exciting New Research into Modifiable Risk Factors for Dementia

Go to journal home page - Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics

Consultant Psychogeriatrician and Associate Professor Yoram Barak and his colleagues have published their new article 'Analysing Realistic effects of modifiable risk factors for dementia in a large National Dataset'  in the Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics, Volume 105.

The article will be available for free until December 31st 2022, click here to read the article via the ScienceDirect website.

Christchurch glows teal for Dementia

Landmarks across Ōtautahi-Christchurch will be lit up in teal on 3 November to encourage Cantabrians to kōrero about Dementia. It is the first time the city will take part in the international ‘Light the World in Teal’ initiative, which will see sites lit up across Aotearoa and the globe in support of people and whānau living with the neurological condition.

Dementia Canterbury is leading the Ōtautahi event called ‘Light the Night in Teal’. Chief Executive Darral Campbell says it is an opportunity for people to share stories about their loved ones with ‘Mate Wareware / Dementia’ and show solidarity with their community.

“There are more than 70,000 people living with Mate Wareware / Dementia across Aotearoa. Our community tell us that Dementia can be incredibly isolating. Light the Night in Teal is one way we as Cantabrians can show those living with Dementia and their whānau that they are not alone,” Campbell says.

Lois and her family are one of the thousands of whānau Dementia Canterbury are lighting up Christchurch in teal for. Lois was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease in February 2021 and says she had a hard time accepting her diagnosis. “But I have a degree in English and when I started to forget how to spell things, I had to face up to the fact that it might be right,” she says.

Lois and her whānau were referred to Dementia Canterbury and she has since become involved in many social, physical and mental hauora-focused activities.

“I’ve completed Dementia Canterbury’s Life Story Programme. A group of us have weekly meetings and we go on outings. We have a full schedule of activities with the Dementia Canterbury Younger Onset Programme. It’s so great to have such a wonderful group of people to spend time with and laugh and have fun, and sometimes to get serious. Sometimes it’s the only place we feel normal, as everyone understands,” she says.

Lois’ daughter Sarah English says that the difference Dementia Canterbury’s support has made for her Mum and the family is huge. “The team stood beside mum and our family, and gave us information, tools and reassurance that enabled us to feel more confident and relaxed with the path ahead of us. Mum has a much more positive outlook on life now. She has had access to a range of activities that help keep her active and get her meeting new people. With Dementia Canterbury’s gentle but ongoing support, Mum was able to find some control again and has used this to take proactive steps to start making her life easier,” she says.

Cantabrians can show their support for people with Dementia at the Bridge of Remembrance on 3 November, from 8pm to 10pm. The bridge will be lit in teal and the Dementia Canterbury team will be onsite with their social media frames. Sites will also be lit up in teal at the Botanical Gardens, Captain Scott Plaza, Bowker Fountain in Victoria Square, and the Vaka 'a Hina sculpture. People are encouraged to share their teal photos and Dementia stories on social media, with the hashtag #TealForDementia.

“We’d love to hear about your loved one with Dementia, so come along and tell us who you’re lighting the world in teal for. Let’s light up our social media feeds in support, as well as lighting up Christchurch,” Campbell says.

Light the World in Teal was started by the Alzheimers Foundation of America and is part of Dementia Canterbury’s Annual Appeal month in November. Find out more at

This Dementia Mate Wareware Action Plan has been developed on behalf of and with input and support from the wider sector by a small group of dementia mate wareware NGOs, the Mate Wareware Advisory Rōpū, clinicians, academics, and providers to drive the changes needed to address this challenge and improve the health, independence, quality of life of people living with dementia mate wareware in a sustainable way. The changes build on current and potential services and supports.

Walk for Dementia 2021

About 200 members of the public, clients, carers, volunteers, and staff, younger and older, joined Dementia Canterbury’s Walk for Dementia at Nga Pun Wai athletics track on Sunday 11 April. Striding out to a great soundtrack, walkers did as many turns of the track as suited. MC and Dementia Canterbury board member Michael Aitken jollied participants along with great MC skills combined with interesting facts about dementia. The Stormtroopers were on hand for the inevitable selfies during the event, which had a great vibe on a lovely sunny day.

A big thank you to our supporters who donated goods for our spot prizes. The best-dressed team winners, the Rainbows, are pictured with their prize, a fabulous gift basket donated by New World Fendalton. Others deserving of our thanks are the Christchurch City Council and Sport Canterbury (for allowing us to use the Nga Puna Wai track) and New World Wigram, New World Halswell, Fush, Joe's Garage Wigram, Good Home, Pure Sports Nutrition, Nutrient Rescue, Athletes Foot, Cookie Time, Oxford Group (The Bealey, Kong, Original Sin), Black Cat Cruises and Hamptons ITM. Their wonderful support enabled us to run a spot prize raffle which added lots of fun to the event.

Golf Tournament a Great Success

Dementia Canterbury’s 2021 Golf Tournament, played in superb weather at the Russley Golf Club, received great feedback and financially topped last year’s event. Twenty-four teams competed, starting the afternoon with gourmet burgers from the Rapid Relief Team. The good vibe translated right through to the prize-giving and dinner in the evening, which was splendidly led by MC Ross Gumbley from the Court Theatre, with Ned Allison from Harcourts Grenadier running a lively auction. During the evening, Lyn Vida spoke movingly about her husband shifting into residential dementia care.

Winners of the day were team KK Livestock comprising Liam Harnett, Grant Elley, Richard Howard and Nevin Wright. Runner-up was Herbie: Andrew Jaganath, Scotty Herbert, Martin Taylor and Simon Durack. And third place, Craigs Investments Partners:  Thomas Lax, Adam Wallis, Richard Bain and Elliot Clayton.

Our major thank-you goes to Lexus of Christchurch and General Manager Aaron Frazer and Sales Manager Ian Gillespie for their fantastic support which included entering two teams. A big thank you to our other major supporters Ryman Healthcare and Rapid Relief Team NZ. And thank you to Giles Beal and Kara Campbell of the Russley Golf Club who provided fantastic service in making sure the event ran smoothly and to Mike Godinet for organising the day's play.

Read more about the event in the newsletter available here.


Brain Awareness Month

The Brain Demystified: Click here to see an interview with Professor Lynette Tippett, from the University of Auckland, as she talks about brain health and the things we can do to keep our brains healthy.

As part of Brain Awareness Month, be in the draw for a three-night Bed & Breakfast Accommodation Prize for two people (valued at NZ$1000) anywhere in New Zealand. The winner can select where they’d like to go on holiday to redeem their accommodation prize, once they’ve contacted and booked with Dementia Canterbury’s great friends and supporters, the online booking platform  Ezibed donates a percentage of every booking made through them to Dementia Canterbury.

To be in the draw, watch Professor Tippett’s video and answer the following question:

What percentage of lifestyle factors can we modify to reduce our risk of developing dementia?

Email your answer to along with a contact phone number. Only one answer per email address please.

We will draw the winner at the end of March.

Just Launched

Community activity groups for people living with dementia:  A guide for non-government dementia organisations to get them started. The guide has been developed by the Canterbury District Health Board, the South Island Alliance (Health of Older People Service Level Alliance) and Dementia Canterbury. Click here to download.

Alzheimer’s Awareness Month

People from the Dementia Canterbury community talk about how the organisation’s services help them manage the challenges of living with dementia. Click here to view the video.

An interview with Joe Bennett

Lyttelton-based author and columnist Joe Bennett talks about the impact dementia has had on his mother Joy. Click here to view the video.

Dementia Action Plan a first for New Zealand

Covid-19 has highlighted how much of a challenge dementia is for New Zealand. The number of people with dementia is growing fast and services are just not keeping up with the need. Indeed after Covid-19, dementia will be one of the most significant issues facing our health system this century. In light of this urgent need, the dementia sector has worked collaboratively to prepare a Dementia Action Plan for New Zealand. Click here to read more.

Papanui site purchased for BrainTree Centre

The Canterbury Brain Collective, a partnership between Dementia Canterbury and MS and Parkinson's Canterbury, has purchased a site in Langdons Road, Papanui, for the proposed $6.3 million BrainTree Centre for Canterbury people living with neurological conditions. Click here for the media release.

For more information, go to the Canterbury Brain Collective website. For information on the  BrainTree Wellness Centre, click here.

Volunteer Recognition Award – Dawn Steel

Dawn Steel was awarded a Volunteer Recognition Award from Volunteering Canterbury, presented by Hon Ruth Dyson. Dawn has been volunteering with Dementia Canterbury since 2013 and her passion for supporting people with dementia to live well is evident through the many ways she volunteers with us. Dawn’s many roles include transport volunteering for our activity groups, reception volunteering every Wednesday morning, team leading for our annual appeal, and being a Life Stories volunteer, where she is paired with a client with dementia and helps them create a booklet about the story of their life. She is also an excellent advocate for our services, and willingly speaks to groups about her experiences of volunteering and what it means to her. Her contribution to Dementia Canterbury is invaluable, and we are so grateful that she chooses to use her skills to support our work in the community. Congratulations Dawn!

Minister of Health Volunteer Award – Activity Volunteer Team (represented by Miriam Dew, Yvonne Watson, and Jenny Henderson)

Since 2015, our Activity Volunteers have been involved in transporting and/or facilitating the participation of people with dementia in community-based activities. Thanks to these amazing volunteers we are able to provide around 25 activity groups per month benefiting the lives of up to 120 people with dementia and their loved ones per month. Clients have stated that the groups have improved their mood, allowed them to reconnect with past hobbies and learn new skills, make new social connections, boost their confidence, and give them something to look forward to. We would not be able to provide this service without this incredible group of people. Congratulations to the 2018-2019 team – whether you have finished volunteering with us now, have recently joined, or have been with us since the beginning of the Activity Programme, we hugely value your contribution!

Activity Volunteer Team

Maureen Alabaster, Paul Alexander, Giles Allom, Heather Bennett, Helen Bryant, Hannah Campbell, Angela Cragg, Jillian Crossen, Arnold Davidson, Cameron Delaney, Miriam Dew, Lynn Duggan, Clare Ferguson, Michele Fibbens, Kay Foster, Syed Ghaffar, Angelique Glubb, Jenny Henderson, Joy Hussey, Lynn Ivory, Fathima Kamal, Kelsey Lehane, Margie Maeder, Steve McCombs, Danae McConnel, Mary McDonald, Deirdre McGrath, Anna McWha, Sonika Mor, Eunju Nam, June Peka, Terry Reid, Meg Rule, Alison Smyth, Shirley Starling, Dawn Steel, Mary Stephenson, Aparna Tikekar, Sue Warring, Yvonne Watson, and Kayley Williamson.

Would you like to join our amazing team of volunteers? Contact Jasmine Salam, Volunteer Coordinator on 03 379 2590 ext. 215 or to find out how you could be involved.

Did you know that you can now support Dementia Canterbury when going on a holiday or business trip? 

We have partnered with Ezibed, who are on a mission to give back to local communities and charities. For each night’s accommodation booked online, Ezibed will make a donation to a local community project or charity of your choice. The best part is – there is no extra cost to you. So next time you plan a trip away, click here to book your perfect place to stay and don’t forget to select Dementia Canterbury before checkout.

Supporting Dementia Canterbury has never been easier, and you get to enjoy a good night’s sleep at some of New Zealand’s best and affordable accommodation providers. Click here to find out more.

Typical Coaster by Phil Walsh

Light hearted and entertaining, Typical Coaster is the story of one boy's aspirations, accomplishments, disasters and emerging maturity. Woven into the latter part of this saga is a peek into Buller's past. Interrelationships with - and the rise and fall of - the Westport Abattoir are explored. This is where Phil enters the world of the working man. Learn what motivates the man within the boy and the free spirit that has the power to draw him away from his beloved West Coast. Uniquely West Coast in character, Author Phil Walsh is donating proceeds from the sale of his latest book to Dementia Canterbury. 

We are selling copies at Dementia Canterbury's Reception for $30 per copy. Click here to listen to Phil's interview with Carly Flynn on Radio Live.

September: World Alzheimer's Month

World Alzheimer's Month is the international campaign by Alzheimer's Disease International (ADI) every September to raise awareness and challenge the stigma that surrounds dementia. World Alzheimer's Day is on 21 September each year. Over 60,000 Kiwis are living with Dementia today, and that number is expected to triple by 2050. The impact of World Alzheimer's Month is growing, but the stigmatisation and misinformation that surrounds dementia remains a global problem that requires global action.

Our Manager, Darral Campbell, recently spoke to Radio Live about Dementia and what we're doing to support those affected. Click here to listen to the interview.

Our New Location

Welcome everyone to our new offices at 3/49 Sir William Pickering Drive, Burnside, Christchurch.  If you need any up to date information on any of our services, please email or phone 03 379 2590 or 0800 444 776.

Changes to Enduring Powers of Attorney

There have been some recent changes to EPA forms. For more information, go to Super Seniors.