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.