March 2024 | Connect

March 2024 – Connect Tahi
Kia ora and welcome to our first pānui of 2024

The Dementia Wellington team are well and truly into the swing of the new year with our usual range of services underway in all areas.

In this pānui we are including important information about recent banking scams and Te Whatu Ora has asked us to share information about Wellingtons water shortage.

On a brighter note, I am pleased to share information about research projects that Dementia Wellington is involved in, and the Brain Health Symposium that Dementia New Zealand is hosting to mark International Brain Health Awareness Month.

There is plenty more to catch up on, I hope you take a few minutes to read and enjoy.

Ngā mihi mahana

Anne Schumacher, Chief Executive

 March is Brain Health Awareness Month 

To mark International Brain Health Awareness Month this March, Dementia New Zealand is hosting the 2024 Brain Health Symposium on Friday 15th March.

There is an exciting line up of virtual educational seminars where experts in their fields share the latest information on brain health and how to live well.

‘Alcohol and the Brain: How much is too much?’ Dr Matthew Croucher

‘Sleep is more than a Luxury’ Dr Rosie Gibson

‘The science behind the best Brain Foods’ Dr Yoram Bara

For more detail about the symposium and how to register see

Young Onset Dementia Survey

Dementia Wellington now has a dedicated Dementia Advisor, Mai Christeller,  working with our Young Onset Dementia clients. Mai is keen to understand the experiences of people affected by Young Onset Dementia, including carers and family members, and is seeking your opinion and ideas to help us develop Dementia Wellington’s services.

We have prepared a brief survey that should only take a few minutes to complete. Please click on this link to complete the survey:

or you can contact Mai directly at

Thank you for your assistance with developing this important service.

Thank you, Jocelyn! 

Kāpiti Dementia Advisor, Jackie Cole, with volunteer Jocelyn Delaney 

In February we thanked Jocelyn Delaney who retired after more than 10 years of supporting our team in Kāpiti.

As a volunteer, Jocelyn supported the Living Well groups for people with dementia and helped with the Cog cafes. We also appreciate the significant part Jocelyn played in organising the annual street appeals in Kāpiti. This was a huge undertaking and certainly paid off in terms of the success of the appeals.

We very much appreciate Jocelyn’s generosity and commitment to supporting people with dementia to remain active and engaged in our community.  

Pippa Beams – Christmas Lights Bonanza!

Pippa Beams at the Tree Festival

In Connect Rima (December 2023) we highlighted Pippa Beam’s ‘Christmas Tree Festival.  Pippa filled her home with Christmas Trees in 2022 and in 2023 filled Pinehaven Community Hall.

There were over 20 beautifully decorated trees on all sort of themes, including Harry Potter. A huge thank you to Pippa and all those who made a koha or Givealittle donation. $2,500 was raised for Dementia Wellington.

Volunteers Needed for Social Programme

This year we are looking to grow the social opportunities for people with dementia and are looking for volunteers to help us make this programme  a success.

The goal of the programme is to connect people with dementia with existing community activities such as walking groups, volunteering opportunities, museum/art gallery visits etc. If you would like to offer your time, from a few hours a week or month to support the social programme please email us to find out more at

New research program: e-DiVA

e-DiVA is an upcoming research project that we would like you to consider being involved in.

A group of researchers from the University of Auckland has developed a website which provides online support for family carers of people living with dementia at home.  The researchers are looking for carers who are interested in helping them test the website.

We are hopeful that this website will be a resource to support the family/whānau members and other unpaid carers who support people living with dementia.

If you are interested in participating or have any questions about this research project, please contact:

Dr Tara Sani (PhD Student – University of Auckland) E-mail:  Phone: 09 923 8342.

MinDArT – second phase in progress 

We are delighted that the second phase of the MinDArt research project is underway. MinDArT is an eight-week programme of 1.5-hour drawing sessions for people living with dementia and their supporters.

The study investigates the impact of MinDArT, compared to a Memory Café intervention and uses a cross-over design: half the participants are randomly selected to participate in MinDArT first then the Memory Café. The other half participate in Memory Café first, then MinDArT.

In this short video clip lead researcher and founder Emma Febvre-Richards talks about her inspiration for MinDArt:

Bank Scams – be aware

The Banking Ombudsman is advising that financial scams are becoming more sophisticated and more common.  Following some basic precautions will keep your money safe from scammers.

Please take a few minutes to read the advice either from your own bank (all the banks have information on their websites) or here:

Aotearoa New Zealand Festival of the Arts – Lost Lear

Thursday 14 March to Sunday 17 March – Tawhiri-warehouse

We would like to draw your attention to this critically acclaimed show.

Lost Lear is a moving and darkly comic interpretation of Shakespeare’s play told from the point of view of Joy, a person with dementia, who is living in an old memory of rehearsing King Lear.

We were pleased to give two complimentary tickets for the show to our volunteer, Robin Fenwick, who facilitates the Blokes Group every fortnight at the Hub.

More information about the show and how to get tickets is here:

Aotearoa New Zealand Festival of the Arts – Lost Lear

Even as we move into autumn, the risk of tighter water restrictions and water shortages increases.

We have done well as a region to hold steady at Level Two restrictions, but continued efforts are needed to keep tighter restrictions at bay. With NIWA forecasting hot and dry weather with limited rain for the next five weeks, we could still move into Level Three restrictions, and this could happen quickly if demand spikes.

All residents in the Wellington region are encouraged to conserve water and plan for tighter water restrictions. However, please note that Health New Zealand/Te Whatu Ora stress we all need to drink at least 8 cups of water a day. While you can save water in other areas, do not reduce the amount of water you drink.

Where can you find information about being prepared?

Wellington Water for more information about restrictions across the levels, links to your local council information and tips on conserving water at home.

Wellington Water restrictions on a page (PDF)

Health New Zealand Te Whatu Ora – for Health Messages

WREMO (Wellington Regional Emergency Management Office) for emergency preparedness and water storage tips