Thursday, April 7, 2016

Dementia Friendly Communities

Did you know there's a growing movement to create dementia friendly communities?  These are communities where there has been a concerted effort to identify the ways in which the community can help individuals living with dementia as well as their care givers.

In the US, there is the Dementia Friendly America initiative which is bringing together community leaders and sponsors who want to find ways to make their communities better places for their residents who are directly impacted by dementia.




The movement originates from a collection of communities in Minnesota which realized they were facing a growing rate of Alzheimer's and wanted to put supports in place.  For example, first responders may be trained in how to respond when they encounter an individual with impaired memory.  This training is helpful because the individual may be able to generally cover and if you're not paying attention, you may not realize they're in need of help.  It reminds me of the gentleman I encountered in the airport a couple of years ago.  He was lost and clearly confused and this kind of initiative would have made more people cognizant of his needs.

The movement to create dementia friendly communities is not limited to the US.  There are comparable initiatives in a number of countries around the world.  If this is of interest to you, a quick internet search will help you identify such an initiative in your area.

Additional Information:
Making Dementia Friendly Communities the New Normal - Forbes
More Cities Aim to be 'Dementia-Friendly' - The Wall Street Journal

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