Dementia Friendly America’s newest member community—New Oxford/Hanover, PA— is off to a great start with an advisory committee comprised of representatives from various sectors that play a role in ensuring their community meets the needs of individuals living with dementia and their caregivers, including long-term care, in-home care, real estate, health care, legal services. This advisory committee also benefits from the guidance and leadership of a person living with dementia and a caregiver. The committee is assessing current practices, gaps and opportunities in their community and has plans to launch a dementia-friendly business initiative.
Dementia Friends Washington is coming to Washington State through the leadership of the Dementia Action Collaborative, a public-private partnership implementing the Washington State Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias. Dementia Friends is a global movement to raise awareness about dementia. With more than 22,000 Dementia Friends across the United States and millions of Dementia Friends worldwide, the Dementia Friends initiative fosters awareness of dementia and how it affects people. Dementia Friends commit to taking an action—from something as small as telling friends about the program to visiting someone who is living with dementia, the key is that every action counts. Anyone of any age can be a Dementia Friend—we all have a part to play in creating dementia-friendly communities. To learn more and get connected to an initiative in your state visit the Dementia Friends website.
Dementia Friendly America continues to expand its resources and recently added a youth resources section to our website. Is your dementia friendly community initiative working with youth? We’d like to hear from you! Contact us by email and share how you’re working with youth in your community and share youth resources to help us continue to grow our website!
A recent Today Show segment focused on the impact Alzheimer’s and dementia have on youth and young adults, particularly as more of them become caregivers for family members affected by dementia. The segment examined how millennials are caring for loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease. DFA partner Youth Movement Against Alzheimer’s (YMAA) and its CEO/Co-Founder, Nihal Satyadev, were featured in the segment. The mission of YMAA is to promote understanding of Alzheimer's among youth and young adults by providing opportunities to help those it affects.
A new DFA resource aims to help DFA communities as they encourage local businesses to become dementia friendly. Based on lessons learned from DFA communities, a new DFA tip sheet, Dementia Friendly Businesses and Organizations: Information for Starting a Local Initiative, provides information on the business benefits, criteria, content and best practices businesses can use to become more dementia friendly. The DFA website also includes examples of dementia friendly business trainings such as the Dementia Friendly @ Work program, which can be offered by peers within an agency or business. DFA partner Home Instead offers an Alzheimer’s Friendly Business online course. These resources and more are available in the Dementia Friendly America Resources portal!
When dementia strikes, all members of a family are affected—including children. Younger children might struggle with the concept of memories and how they can fade away. Others might not know how to interact with their grandparents, who are now forgetful and repeat themselves. When a grandparent lives at home, kids might be reluctant to invite their friends to their house. Dementia Friendly Missoula recently partnered with Montana Public Radio (MTPR), on a 30-minute radio segment, When Alzheimer’s Moves into the Family, that aired as part of a new initiative on MTPR’s long-standing children’s program, The Pea Green Boat. The new initiative, Kids Like You and Me, focuses on stories and interviews with children who have experienced what it’s like to be different from other children. The project was truly intergenerational: MTPR and DFM worked with a semi-retired librarian, two students who are members of a local high school’s Health Occupations Students of America club, a six-year old whose great-grandmother has Alzheimer’s, a retired physician and former caregiver.
A new webinar from Jewish Children and Family Services (JFCS) in Waltham, Massachusetts describes ways interested communities can start a memory café network. Viewers will also learn what a memory café is and why a memory café network can help communities provide resources for individuals with dementia and their caregivers. The webinar walso provides an overview of the JFCS experience in creating a memory café network in Massachusetts and how it grew from four cafes to more than 80, as well first steps, resource requirements and challenges. JFCS’ Memory Café Toolkits in English and Spanish include information and step-by-step instructions on how to start a Memory Café. In addition, JFCS was recently selected as one of three recipients of the 2017 Rosalinde Gilbert Innovations in Alzheimer’s Disease for its Percolator Memory Café Network. JFCS is a member of the DFA network and leads the Dementia Friends Massachusetts initiative!
Dementia Friendly America welcomes the newest member of the DFA network! The Aging in the Gorge Alliance /Alianza de la Tercera Edad is a diverse group of residents from the Mid-Columbia River Gorge region of Oregon and Washington. Their Dementia Friendly Action Team consists of community members and professionals from various disciplines, including case management, occupational therapy, behavioral health, government, long-term care, and hospice care. The community is already hard at work with a work plan that includes training police units, volunteer firefighters, and first responders; training library staff; starting a community club kit; hosting memory cafes; training long-term care facilities in Positive Approaches to Care; training transportation employees and much more!
New communities continue to join the Dementia Friendly America movement! Most recently, two cities in Montana—Missoula and Billings—joined DFA.
Dementia Friendly Billings has a multi-stakeholder Steering Committee and will hold a community forum in June at the Billings public library. They are already working with the media to secure coverage of their efforts—stay tuned for a local newspaper article and coverage on a local TV station! In addition, Dementia Friendly Billings is reaching out to community sectors and is working closely with a major healthcare organization, a community health provider and the public library.
The Dementia Friendly Missoula team is composed of members representing private home services, the Missoula Public Library, the Missoula City County Health Department, the University of Montana’s Montana Geriatric Education Center, the Montana Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association and many more. Building upon work of the Missoula Coalition on Aging & Disability, Dementia Friendly Missoula has worked on dementia-related issues for the last two years and continues to expand on these efforts with the goal of increasing awareness of dementia and providing education and support to individuals with dementia and their care partners.
Too Soon To Forget, a documentary developed by the Without Warning support group, a program for individuals and families who live with younger onset Alzheimer’s at the Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center, is now available to view on local public television. Too Soon to Forgetshowcases the importance of community in facing the journey of Alzheimer's and shares the experiences and perspectives of nine families who have been affected by early-onset Alzheimer’s. The documentary was developed with leadership from Susan Frick, Director of the Without Warning program and a leader with Dementia Friendly Illinois and Dementia Friends Illinois.