Getaway service for dementia support

August 2, 2023 BY

Lending care: Central Highlands Rural Health’s upcoming Treehouse4Two program is an expansion on their Treehouse initiative, which focuses on social engagement for people diagnosed with dementia. Photo: SUPPLIED

A new three-day retreat program to cater for people newly diagnosed with dementia and their carers is in the works by staff at Central Highlands Rural Health.

With the first session set to launch this month, the program called Treehouse4Two will entail a getaway for participants to take place at the Macedon Ranges Hotel and Spa.

Offered free to participants, the program’s manager Dora Mansbridge said it’ll give equal focus to people with dementia and their carers.

“It’s to give people recently diagnosed with dementia that comfort, and for the people caring for them to take in new learning and to be around other people going through similar things,” she said.

“The carers come together as a group to go through what dementia is, looking after their wellbeing, and sharing their learning.

“We’re modelling this after the HammondCare ‘Staying at Home’ program.”

Following its launch early next month, the first three-day session will run from Monday 14 to Wednesday 16 August.

Four sessions are slated to take place this year followed by 10 in 2024.

Treehouse4Two has been fully funded by the Federal Government for the next four years.

Ms Mansbridge said the program’s emphasis as a retreat will set it apart from traditional dementia support services.

“We’ve had people saying ‘It’ll be a holiday. I can talk about my dementia if I want but I don’t have to.’ That’s where we’re coming from,” she said.

The Treehouse4Two program can be applied for by emailing [email protected] or calling 0439 568 972.