New Communities Join the DFA Network!
Dementia Friendly America continues to welcome new communities to the fold! Read on to learn about our newest communities in Iowa, Pennsylvania and Arizona.
Helmed by the Northeast Iowa Area Agency on Aging, Dementia Friendly Waterloo has created a cross-sector action team that includes partnerships with Waterloo’s mayor, individuals living with dementia and their caregivers, leading local businesses, the Alzheimer’s Association, senior service agencies, financial institutions, skilled nursing facilities as well as a highly recognized dementia expert and Professor of Gerontology from the University of Northern Iowa. The initiative’s first major project was a daylong conference that provided information on the basics of dementia and strategies to become more dementia friendly. The conference also included sessions on ways to prevent the abuse of individuals living with dementia, person-centered strategies and resources for living with dementia. Dementia Friendly Waterloo already has a full slate of activities planned for 2020, including research on the perceptions of dementia in faith-based organizations, which will inform the creation of a training for faith-based organizations. Other upcoming projects include trainings with local law enforcement and local businesses.
Dementia Friendly Newtown PA is committed to educating the community on the signs of dementia and ways to best interact with people living with dementia. Dementia Friendly Newtown will be encouraging all sectors of the community to adopt dementia-friendly practices. Coordinated by Pickering Manor, a local continuing care retirement community, Dementia Friendly Newtown is a collaboration with an array of partners, including first responders, banks and business owners. Dementia Friendly Newton will make available non-medical, easy-to-understand dementia awareness materials and resources that can be used in the community.
Lehigh Valley, PA
The Lehigh Valley Dementia Friendly Coalition seeks to raise awareness and reduce the stigma of having dementia through its Dementia Friendly Lehigh Valley initiative. Goals of the initiative are to raise awareness and reduce stigma through education and outreach, to cultivate commitments from stakeholders and partners, to leverage existing dementia friendly community resources and to share information about best practices with the broader community. The Dementia Friendly Lehigh Valley initiative is led by a steering committee of individuals representing the full range of sectors within the community, including faith communities, senior living and residential care, non-profit and social services, and health care and is supported by five working groups.
With Arizona anticipated to experience the highest rate of growth in Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias nationally, the city of Surprise, AZ is collaborating with Banner Sun Health Research Institute/Banner Alzheimer’s Institute, Benevilla and Sun Health, in addition to partners from the Alzheimer’s Association and the Salvation Army, on its Dementia Friendly Surprise initiative. The Dementia Friendly Surprise action team is committed to spreading awareness about dementia and better supporting people living with dementia and their care partners. Next steps for the initiative include raising awareness through a new dementia friendly webpage on the local government website, holding Dementia Friends sessions for health care professionals, training Dementia Friend Champions and organizing Memory Cafes.