9 New Communities Join the DFA Network!

It has been a busy summer across the states! Learn more about the newly joined Dementia Friendly communities below!

Alexandria, VA

Dementia Friendly Alexandria began as a collaboration between Goodwin House Alexandria and the Alexandria Commission on Aging. Through their efforts, they have created an action team consisting of dedicated professionals and partners from local government, faith communities, law enforcement, community members and residential care services—making this a true community initiative. They will work with these partners in expanding community awareness of dementia. Their focus for the first year is working with local emergency response personnel and faith communities to spread the word about dementia-friendly practices.

Arlington, VA

Dementia Friendly Arlington is led by Goodwin House Bailey’s Crossroads, in close collaboration with an action team that includes local government officials, staff members from residential care services, home care organizations, community members and a caregiver. Within its first year of operations, the action team plans to focus its efforts on training first responders and faith-based organizations. The action team’s second priority will be to raise awareness about dementia within the community by becoming Dementia Friend Champions and providing members of the general community with opportunities to become Dementia Friends.

Lexington, VA

Dementia Friendly Lexington is a pilot program of a long-term initiative. The Central Shenandoah Health District and Valley Program for Aging Services have partnered to encourage the five counties and five cities in their shared service area to become dementia friendly. A cross-sector steering committee is committed to advocating for and facilitating Dementia Friends and Dementia Friendly @ Work sessions and creating memory cafés that will provide social engagement opportunities for people with dementia and their caregivers.

New Jersey

The goal of Dementia Friendly New Jersey is to foster the ability of people with dementia to continue living in their communities while engaging and thriving in day-to-day living. The initiative has created a task force that is working in Atlantic and Cape May Counties with plans to expand their dementia-friendly efforts statewide. The initiative will foster sector-specific dementia-friendly practices by providing outreach and trainings in the areas of signs/symptoms, communication/behaviors and virtual dementia tours.

Chautauqua County, NY

The Chautauqua County Dementia Friendly Community Initiative is sponsored by the Long-Term Care Council with support from the Office for Aging/NY Connects and the Alzheimer’s Association—Western New York Chapter. The initiative has created a Chautauqua Dementia Friendly Action Team, an expansive group that will include people living with dementia, their caregivers and any community members interested in furthering dementia-friendly initiatives.

Kansas City, MO

The Dementia Friendly KC team is dedicated to keeping people who are living with dementia and their care partners engaged in the community. The initiative plans to achieve this by hosting two free arts and cultural activities each month, KC Memory Café and Movies and Memories. These programs engage prominent arts and cultural institutions in becoming more dementia friendly. Past community organizations involved include the Kansas City Symphony, the Kansas City Zoo and Kansas City public libraries. Dementia Friendly KC also hosts bi-monthly lunch and learns, inviting specific sectors of the community to enjoy a free lunch and providing them with information on how to make their sector more dementia friendly.

Jacksonville, FL

In 2016, the Florida Department of Elder Affairs launched its Dementia Care and Cure Initiative (DCCI). The Jacksonville DCCI Task Force consists of cross-sector representatives, the Area Agency on Aging and Disability Resource Center, the Memory Disorder Clinic (Mayo Clinic) and the local chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. The Task Force’s three committees conduct the following activities—develop communications to raise awareness of the issues and needs of people living with dementia, provide education to inform people and community organizations about the disease and how best to serve them and their caregivers, and an committee to ensure persons with dementia and their caregivers remain engaged in the community as much as possible. Goals for 2019 include launching a speaker’s bureau, piloting a discharge toolkit and starting at least one memory café.

Lander, WY

Dementia Friendly Lander intends to make Lander a community that is better able to identify, embrace and support those living with dementia and their caregivers. Dementia Friendly Lander will enhance support for those living with dementia and their caregivers by providing physical and emotional skills trainings to the community and caregivers. Specifically, with a cross-sector goal to create inclusive spaces and opportunities that are inviting, supportive and safe for those living with dementia, Dementia Friendly Lander will provide dementia-friendly trainings to businesses and organizations throughout the community.

Durham, NH

With a cross-sector team comprised of town officials, the Alzheimer’s Association for New Hampshire, the University of New Hampshire Psychology Department and Brookdale Spruce Wood, Dementia Friendly Durham plans to work alongside the Alzheimer’s Association to train members of these sectors, as well as other business in Durham. Dementia Friendly Durham has partnered with the arts and the Department of Public Works Alzheimer’s Awareness community project. Future projects include encouraging restaurants to become Purple Table certified, creating memory cafés and developing partnerships with local law enforcement to increase safety for people living with dementia.