Creating a dementia-friendly Rotorua


13/09/2018 9:45:00 a.m.

13 September 2018

Join us in creating a dementia-friendly Rotorua

A community group is challenging Rotorua residents to turn Rotorua purple in support of Dementia-Friendly Awareness Week which starts next week (17 – 23 September 2018).

Dementia-Friendly Rotorua Steering Group, with support from Rotorua Lakes Council, has organised a series of events which aims to positively change the lives of about 750 Rotorua residents living with dementia and those caring for them.

Dementia-Friendly Rotorua Steering Group chair, Rosemary Viskovic, encourages people to turn their work place or home purple in support of people living with the condition.

“Often those living with dementia, or caring for a loved one with dementia, can become isolated and overwhelmed. Throughout Dementia-Friendly Awareness Week we want to #TurnRotoruaPurple and demonstrate just how much support we have out there in our community.”

Ms Viskovic says another way people can support the Dementia-Friendly Awareness Week is by learning more about the condition.

“We have organised a number of events which will help raise awareness about the condition and in turn, will help our community living with dementia.”

Dementia-Friendly Rotorua Steering group encourages people to attend the following free events:

Enduring Powers of Attorney and Wills educational sessions
Marcia Insley from the Rotorua District Community Law Centre presents these free public talks to help you better understand Enduring Powers of Attorney and Wills. No booking required but space is limited.

When: Tuesday 18 September, 10am and 1pm
Where: Discovery Space, Second Floor, Rotorua Library Te Aka Mauri, 1127 Haupapa Street

Dementia Friends learning sessions
Attend one of three sessions to learn about dementia and how to become a Dementia Friend - someone who wants to make a commitment to helping someone or people living with dementia. Please RSVP to

When: Wednesday 19 September
Where: Rotorua Lakes Council, 10 - 11am in Committee Room 1, 2 - 3pm in Committee Room 2, 5 - 6pm in Committee Room 2.

More information is available here.

Poetry from the Heart with Michelle Mills
Be moved by the insightful poems of senior Bupa caregiver Michelle Mills, whose poetry aims to help families, caregivers and the community understand the many different perspectives of dementia. All are welcome to attend. Bring your lunch along to the 12.15pm session or drop by in the evening.

When: Thursday 20 September, 12.15 - 1pm and 5.30 - 6.15pm
Where: Community Pride Space, Ground Floor, Rotorua Library Te Aka Mauri, 1127 Haupapa St

More information is available here.

Rotorua Night Market goes purple
The Rotorua Night Market will go purple for Dementia-Friendly Awareness Week on Thursday 20 September!

Check out what’s happening on Tutanekai Street from 5 – 9pm. More information is available here.

Purple bike ride for Dementia-Friendly Awareness Week
An opportunity for everyone, no matter what your age or riding ability, to get your purple outfit on, jump on your bike or your set of wheels, meet new poeple, and get fit while enjoying our beautiful city. Participants are encouraged to bring a koha for Dementia Lakes to support the valuable and essential services they provide.

When: Sunday 23 September, 10am
Where: Meet by the Soundshell. The group will then bike along Lake Road, on to Kuirau Park and back to the Soundshell.

More information is available here.

Ms Viskovic says “Our goal is to help Rotorua become New Zealand’s first dementia-friendly city, a place where people living with dementia are understood and supported by the community, feel respected, and have control over their day-to-day life.

“Your support, no matter how big or small, would be a meaningful step towards creating a dementia-friendly city.”

Promotional posters, brochures and balloons are available to collect from Rotorua Lakes Council. Contact Anita on for more information. Don’t forget to share your participation in Dementia-Friendly Awareness Week on social media using the hashtag #TurnRotoruaPurple.


Dementia is a progressive condition which includes symptoms such as memory loss, trouble talking, feeling confused or disorientated, will worsen over time. Dementia is a broad term that describes a set of symptoms that develop as a result of damage to the brain. The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease.  You can read more about dementia here.

Page reviewed: 13 Sep 2018 9:45am