Coutts Crossing Croquet teams up with Clarence Valley Dementia Outreach Service for a morning of croquet.
Coutts Crossing Croquet teams up with Clarence Valley Dementia Outreach Service for a morning of croquet.

Day on the greens a hit in Coutts

CROQUET may not be front of mind when thinking of ways to help people with dementia, but a new collaboration is combining mind, body and spirit to explore the possibilities.

This morning Clarence Valley Dementia Outreach Service and Coutts Crossing Croquet Club have teamed up to host an event for people with dementia and their carers, proving it is never to late to take up a sport.

Spearheaded by Coutts Crossing resident John Hall, whose partner Donna was diagnosed with the disease last year, the program is an easygoing social event combining light exercise with many laughs.

“It has been a qualified success, I see the benefit of couples – of carers and their partners to have a really fun morning,” Mr Hall said

“The smiles I have seen on people’s faces and the way everyone has just embraced the morning has been great.

“I am sure... they will all be back here with bells on and possibly we will see a few more people.”

Terry and Lorraine Robinson at Coutts Crossing Croquet.
Terry and Lorraine Robinson at Coutts Crossing Croquet.

Clarence Valley Dementia Outreach Service worker, Taree Brearley said John had been instrumental in getting the initiative off the ground and really “ran with the idea” because he was so passionate about helping people with dementia and their carers.

And having met with members of Croquet Club recently, she wasn’t surprised it was a success.

“They can really modify the game to suit people, so as people learn how to play they can make it more complex,” she said.

“The people who supported us today just bent the rules a little bit or physically helped us to keep the game moving but in a really clever and friendly way.

“The thing with croquet is that you are using your mind, your body and it is also very social,

which are all of those things we know make our brains healthy, so it is good for anyone.”

President of the CCCC, Peter Martin, said he was more than happy to be involved and was looking forward to becoming a ‘Dementia Friend’ through Dementia Australia.

The initiative aims to create dementia-friendly communities and by registering your organisation as a friend it says to the community that they understand the challenges people living with the disease face.

“I have seen how much people have enjoyed it and indeed opened up since they first got here,” Mr Martin said.

“We would welcome this if it became a regular event and make them members.”

The croquet event will be held on March 20, with bus pick-up points from Maclean and Grafton. For more information call 1800 052 222.



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