News & Events
Find out more about news and upcoming events below.
- By Dementia Auckland
2 in 3 New Zealanders will be affected by dementia in some way throughout their lifetime; the impact of dementia is so much wider than just those diagnosed. That’s why this July, Dementia Auckland will again be collecting outside Countdown branches across Auckland to raise money that will help them to support carers of people with dementia.
Being a carer for someone with dementia can be challenging, and while the bulk of the strain lies on those with a dementia diagnosis, carers also require support and assistance from time to time, to ensure they can maintain their support without undue strain and difficulty.
Dementia Auckland is looking for volunteers to collect donations outside Countdown branches from 30 June - 2 July. The money raised goes towards our comprehensive range of dementia support services for more than 1,600 people living with dementia. These services provide information, education and on-going dementia support for those living with dementia and their carers and communities.
If you’re interested in helping support Dementia Auckland (and the work we do for people with dementia and their carers) by volunteering outside your local Countdown from 30 June - 2 July, contact Sarah Knight on .
We especially need more helpers on Sunday the 2nd of July. Even two hours of your support would be a huge help!
Dementia Auckland are on the hunt for generous locals who are able to volunteer regularly at our brand new Memory Shop in Birkenhead - that's right, Dementia Auckland’s Memory Shop is moving to a new and improved space in Birkenhead on Auckland’s North Shore! This fabulous new space will enable Dementia Auckland to start selling furniture (along with all the goodies we already sell) and reach more people. This great new spot is right in the heart of Birkenhead at 84 Mokoia Rd, just a few minutes off the Harbour Bridge.
Along with this exciting new development, we have also been generously donated a truck. This will allow us to pick up furniture and other large donations from supporters, which we believe will significantly increase the amount of donations we receive and enable us to raise even more money to help people with dementia to live well. “The Memory Shop currently receives wonderful donations from supporters who identify with our work, and we see a strong sense of community among everyone involved,” says Rod Perkins, our Chief Executive.
That community comes from the fact that the Memory Shop is about more than just donations; it is also a fantastic place where our professional staff, including registered nurses, occupational therapists, and social workers, can meet with carers, people with dementia, and members of the public to talk about dementia and how we at the Memory Shop and Dementia Auckland can help.
Now, though we need your help! We are on the hunt for more awesome volunteers for both our new premises and donation pick ups.
“Volunteers work hard, but they also have a lot of fun and it’s a great opportunity to meet new people. Plus, as a bonus, it’s never a dull moment to see all the interesting and different donated items coming into the store,” shares Brendon Mexted, Store Manager at The Memory Shop. By donating a few hours of your time a week, you’re making a huge difference to the Memory Shop and to those living with dementia.
If you are interested in volunteering in our new Memory Shop in Birkenhead or driving our new truck, contact Sarah our Volunteer Coordinator for more information at or 09 551 2100.
It's hard to imagine a comedy show about dementia, but British comedian Gordon Southern has done just that, with his one hour stand-up show Long Story Short. In it, he focuses on the experience of dealing with his dad's dementia in a light-hearted and poignant way.
Read more about Gordon's take on writing comedy about dementia here.
Long Story Short is a beautiful show about families, day trips, and how you shouldn’t always meet your heroes. A joke packed narrative that swoops between Edinburgh and Wellington, with a funny and moving look at Alzheimers and Dementia this is comedy for the heart and the head. It's being performed right here in Auckland as part of the 2017 NZ International Comedy Festival powered by Flick Electric Co.
"This is a fast, smart and very funny show"★★★★ – Edinburgh Fest Magazine, UK
“Comedy that hits you right between the eyes" – Dominion Post, NZ
“One of the most talented comedians on tour at the moment”★★★★1/2 – The West Australian
Gordon Southern: Long Story Short
Dates: Tue 3 – Sat 7 May, 7pm
Venue: Vault at Q
Tickets: $20 – $26
Bookings: comedyfestival.co.nz // Q Theatre Box Office // 09 309 9771
Some of you may have seen in our most recent edition of Mind Matters our call out for twiddles - knitted blankets or tubes with beads, buttons, toys, ribbons or other trimmings attached to them. They provide a warm and calming distraction for busy or agitated hands. One of our amazing volunteers, Carol, has been making some of her very own twiddles for Dementia Auckland clients to try, and asked for others to join the twiddle team. The response has been outstanding, and we were thrilled to deliver our first batch of twiddles to Selwyn Village recently.
Says Carol, "I am very pleased that we started our twiddles journey at Lavender Cottage. It was so good to get some positive feedback, encouragement and ideas for what day respite centres need."
Twiddles, in various forms, are being used with great success by people living with dementia all over the world. Donated by keen knitters for the use of those with dementia, either in their home or in care facilities, twiddles are not yet widely used in New Zealand, however we believe they could be a beneficial tool.
We would love to donate more to Selwyn Village and other care facilities, so would love any knitters (expert or beginner) to donate some. Carol has patterns available, or you can creatively come up with your own. Alternatively, we would love to receive donations of the following:
- Large bright buttons and trinkets that can safely and firmly be sewn onto our Twiddles
- Double knitting wool of any kind
- Really soft small soft toys
- Medium sized soft toys that are extremely soft, flexible and fluffy
For more information, or to help, contact our Volunteer Coordinator Sarah at
The Central Leader and East & Bays Courier featured our very own Maria Co this week. Maria's just about to take over our Carer Education programme, and has been working as a key worker with us for several years. To read the article, along with the rest of this issue of the East & Bays Courier, visit Neighbourly.
We were thrilled to be featured in the North Shore Times and Stuff recently thanks to the generous efforts of Gemma Cappel, who, after taking part in the search for Pat Wearn, has started creating "Hope Candles" to raise awareness and funds for Dementia Auckland. Gemma sells pillar candles for $25 and candles in a glass jar for $15 and kindly donates 20% of that to our organisation, already raising over $220. To order a candle, contact Gemma on or on 021 303 654.
To find out more about Gemma and Hope Candles, visit Stuff.co.nz
Recently we were invited to speak to many media outlets about the importance of wearing a GPS tracking device. Many people with dementia have a tendency to wander, and aren’t always able to find their way home easily. They can become disoriented, even in familiar places, and may not always remember their name or address.
If you are concerned about elderly neighbours or loved ones with dementia who go walking by themselves, we would suggest contacting WanderSearch, who have created a simple radio frequency tracking system for people living with a cognitive impairment. See wandersearch.org.nz for more details.
Below are a couple of the media outlets we were featured in:
This month's Super Seniors blog post – under our new Dementia Auckland moniker, of course – talks about ways that you can help protect yourself from dementia. Certainly worth a read, we think!