Berry chosen for first regional early diagnosis dementia program amid rising rates

Tamar Krebs, Founder and CEO, Group Homes Australia

Dementia rates in Illawarra and Shoalhaven on the south coast of NSW, are projected to surge by 55% by 2054, surpassing the national average by 4%. As communities grapple with this increase, the need for comprehensive support for those diagnosed with dementia and their caregivers has become critical.

In response, Group Homes Australia has selected Berry for its inaugural regional “Rementia Together Retreat,” scheduled for August 19-23, 2024. This government-funded retreat is designed to support individuals recently diagnosed with dementia and their chosen support partners.

Residents from Illawarra, Shoalhaven, Sutherland, Southern Highlands, and nearby areas are encouraged to register their interest by June 30 through or by calling 1300 015 406.

Co-designed by Tamar Krebs, Founder and Executive Director of Group Homes Australia, and dementia experts Dr Meredith Gresham and Jackie Pool, the retreat introduces the concept of “rementia.” This innovative approach aims to shift the perception of dementia from “away from the mind” to “return to the mind.”

“With dementia rates expected to double in our region in the next 30 years, we must support both individuals with dementia and their caregivers. Our retreat helps reconnect them with their sense of purpose and identity.”

Tamar Krebs

Inside Ageing recently spoke with Eric and Vivian Tischler who attended a Group Homes Australia retreat in Sydney and described the experience as, “One of the most positive experiences of our lives – at a time when we needed it most.”

Donna Ward, Program Director at Group Homes Australia, who has personal experience with dementia in her family, highlighted the retreat’s mission to empower participants and provide lasting support.

Funded by the Australian Department of Health and Aged Care, the Rementia Together Retreat is already helping to redefine dementia care in Australia.


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