HEATHCOTE is working towards becoming a dementia-friendly community, as work on a dementia village proposal progresses.
An alliance has formed to help interested residents and businesses become more educated and knowledgeable about the needs of people with dementia.
It also aims to promote non-judgemental and positive attitudes towards people with disabilities.
Heathcote Dementia Alliance member Eugene Meegan said Dementia Australia had been assisting with community education.
Two sessions had been held so far, with more scheduled to provide insights into what it is like to interact with someone with dementia.
Mr Meegan said the Heathcote Dementia Alliance was also exploring opportunities to help people tap into virtual reality and online educational tools, including training by the University of Tasmania.
"We are working with the City of Greater Bendigo, who do assessments to see if a business is suitable for people of all abilities," he said.
It is understood that the city will audit 15 businesses in Heathcote.
Mr Meegan said the alliance was considering developing a sticker or logo businesses would be able to display to let people know they were, or were working towards becoming, dementia friendly.
Ultimately, it was hoped the entire community would become dementia-friendly.
Mr Meegan said there were no rules or criteria regarding alliance membership, thus far, other than that those involved had to have an interest in helping make Heathcote a dementia-friendly town.
An estimated 447,115 people in Australia are living with dementia. Almost 1.5 million people are estimated to be involved in the care of someone living with dementia.
A feasibility study has been completed into a proposed dementia village in Heathcote.
Heathcote Dementia Alliance member Sandra Slatter said the study was very positive, but much of the detail was commercial-in-confidence at this stage.
The proposal originated in 2014.
An information session on Heathcote and dementia has been scheduled for next Thursday, September 19, from 10am - 12pm at the Barrack Reserve community stadium.
Mr Meegan said people could contact him for more information either by emailing email@example.com or calling 0419 514 481.
If you or someone you know needs assistance, call the National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500.
Have you signed up to the Bendigo Advertiser's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in central Victoria.