KIAMA'S ageing population could benefit from a new online campaign encouraging people to start talking to family members about their future wishes.
The Start2Talk campaign was launched in Kiama last Thursday at The Pavilion.
Start2Talk is a new website designed to encourage people to talk about their future financial, residential and medical wishes early in case they are unable to make those decisions for themselves in the future.
It was created by Alzheimer's Australia, with the support of Palliative Care Australia, Consumers Health Forum, Carers Australia, COTA, National Seniors, the RACGP and other health and aged care organisations.
More than 332,000 people have dementia in Australia.
This number is projected to reach more than half a million by 2030.
Various health and industry stakeholders attended the launch.
Illawarra-Shoalhaven Medicare Local chief executive Dianne Kitcher said it was important those within the community started such conversations.
"In our Illawarra-Shoalhaven region we do have a greater ageing population," she said.
"We've got a higher proportion of our population now who are over 65, and we also have a lot of older people moving into the area and retiring.
"So aged care, working with older people and trying to keep them in their homes and help them make these sorts of decisions is really quite critical in this region."
Ms Kitcher said GPs could play a vital role in this process.
"We would be working really hard to try and promote GPs to recommend it to their patients."
Start2Talk project manager Dr Chris Shanley said the initiative was relevant for everyone in Australia, not just for people in Kiama.
"There's a fairly large proportion of people in the Kiama area that are in the older age group," he said.
"This is not just something for older people."
Visit the website at Start2Talk.org.au.