June 2020 Newsletter

New Communities Join the FDA Network!

Dementia Friendly America continues to welcome new communities to the fold! Read on to learn about our newest communities in Wisconsin, Illinois and Georgia.
Shorewood, IL

Shorewood, WI’s Dementia Awareness Work Group is a long-term effort that recently joined the DFA network of communities. Through a volunteer-led Dementia Awareness Work Group formed in 2014, the Village of Shorewood, WI is focusing on promoting awareness of dementia and its prevalence; educating the community on topics of interest related to dementia; and linking caregivers with available resources. In addition, the Work Group decided to hold monthly volunteer-led memory cafés and a monthly caregiver support group, called Coffee & Conversations for Caregivers, after identifying the need for additional socialization opportunities and support for caregivers. In addition to these monthly events, Shorewood’s Dementia Awareness Work Group has conducted outreach for local congregations and banks. The Work Group remains committed to ensuring that Shorewood’s older adults, including those living with dementia, have the opportunity to remain in and contribute to the life of the community.

Highland Park, IL

The goal of the City of Highland Park’s Dementia Friendly Initiative is to decrease stigma and reduce isolation by creating a more welcoming and inclusive environment and by supporting those living with dementia. Through its Dementia Friendly Program, the city works to create cross-sector connections across sectors, to identify dementia-friendly practices and to build a dementia-friendly community by raising awareness, providing education and encouraging community engagement. The initiative is supported by the City of Highland Park, Highland Park Library and Sunrise Senior Living in Highland Park.

Orland Park, IL

Dementia Friendly Orland Park seeks to raise awareness, provide community resources and offer community education through three initiatives. First, Dementia Friendly Orland Park aims to raise awareness, reduce stigma and offer resources by encouraging families to attend the Orland Fire Protection District’s free dementia education classes. The second initiative involves collaboration with local businesses and organizations—including Chamber of Commerce, churches, police departments, the Orland Park library, senior centers, home health, hospice, home care agencies, and Illinois State Senators and State Representatives—by offering dementia-friendly training. A third activity is promoting the Premise Alert Program to register those living with dementia with the local 911 dispatch at the Orland Fire Protection District. 
Valdosta, GA

Valdosta, GA is committed to enhancing its dementia friendliness and has established a community action team with leaders from various sectors of the community, including banking, local and state government, estate planning, faith communities, restaurants, legal services, libraries, health care practitioners, caregivers, neighbors, as well as Valdosta’s mayor. Dementia Friendly Valdosta is working on dementia education and empowerment and is establishing subcommittees to implement specific goals such as a wandering alert system, memory cafés, Virtual Dementia Tours, community education presentations and dementia-friendly restaurants.

Elder Fraud Prevention and Response Networks Development Guide

People living with dementia are at particular risk for elder fraud and abuse. For dementia-friendly communities looking to address this important issue, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) Office for Older Americans released its online Elder Fraud Prevention and Response Networks Development Guide. The Networks Development Guide provides suggestions on how to bring together local community stakeholders to combat elder financial exploitation and fraud. It includes step-by-step resources to help stakeholders form or enhance existing networks and increase community capacity to prevent and respond to elder financial exploitation and fraud, and offers planning tools, templates, and exercises to help stakeholders complete key tasks in the creation of a new network or to refresh or expand an existing one.

New Website Provides Information on Dementia-Friendly Airports

The Dementia-Friendly Airports Working Group (DFAWG) is an international collaboration of professionals, academics and volunteers in aging and dementia services and support systems, including present and former dementia care partners. ​DFAWG’s mission is to promote the definition and implementation of substantive dementia-friendly protocols in U.S. airports and airlines and the harmonization of relevant air travel regulations world-wide. DFAWG has also created a working definition of what a dementia-friendly airport is, created a list of travel tips covering all aspects of air travel from booking to arrival, and compiled a list of tools and resources that travelers may find to be helpful.

Report Released on Status of Women and Alzheimer’s, Dementia and Brain Health

A new report, It’s Time to Act: The Challenges of Alzheimer’s and Dementia for Women, by AARP and the Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement synthesizes years of data and findings to help explain why women are disproportionately affected by Alzheimer’s disease. Two-thirds of the 5.8 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease today are women, and they also do the majority of caregiving for people with Alzheimer’s and dementia. The reportexamines the state of research and offers a global strategy to help all women and families impacted by Alzheimer’s and dementia, regardless of income, ethnicity, education or cultural background. The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement and AARP held a virtual conversation to release the report, which can be accessed here.

Dementia Friends USA

There are 83,401 Dementia Friends across the United States. Join the Movement by becoming a Dementia Friend today!