Local residents living with dementia are benefiting from Central Highlands Rural Health’s recent expansion of the Treehouse program to Trentham.
Originally opening in Kyneton in March 2017, the Treehouse is a supportive and safe meeting place for people with dementia to socialise and take part in activities that promote independence and wellbeing, while providing carers the opportunity to take time out.
The recent launch in Trentham means residents from the Macedon Ranges and Hepburn Shire can access a client driven, evidence-based program delivered by experienced staff with expertise in dementia.
Seventy-three-year-old Lewis has been attending the Treehouse in Trentham since its launch. He heard about the program through his carer Chris, who attends one of Central Highlands Rural Health’s support groups for carers of people living with dementia.
“The Treehouse is welcoming and fun. I like talking to different people and I look forward to it each week. I enjoy the banter about the footy and have made some good friends, even if they don’t barrack for Collingwood!” said Lewis.
Lewis’ carer Chris is happy to see him socialise with others.
“During the pandemic it was really hard; we couldn’t see friends and we both missed human contact. When Lewis first started coming to the Treehouse I was at a bit of a loss and not sure what to do with my free time. But now I’m making the most of it and go for walks and visit cafes,” said Chris.
Supported by the Australian Government Department of Health, the Treehouse at Trentham is a Social Support Group that aims to support independence, reduce social isolation, maintain social and community connections and support participants and their carers to live well.
Central Highlands Rural Health’s Board Chair Peter Matthews believes the Treehouse program makes it easier for people to maintain their roots at home and in the community:
“Social connectivity plays a really important part in helping people with dementia to remain independent and living well. We’re really happy to see the Treehouse expand to Trentham allowing more people in our community to benefit from the supportive program,” he said.
Find out more about the Treehouse program in Trentham and Kyneton.