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March 2019 Newsletter

Two New Communities Join the DFA Network

Lawrence County, Indiana

Dementia Friendly America is excited to welcome Lawrence County, Indiana to the DFA community. Started in November 2018 as a county-wide initiative focused on education, outreach, collaboration and advocacy, the goal of Dementia Friendly Lawrence County is to create a welcoming community that maximizes independence and quality of life for individuals living with dementia and their care partners. Since its kick-off event, Dementia Friendly Lawrence County has formed a local committee consisting of representatives from a variety of social service and health care agencies, businesses, churches, a public library and care partners. The committee has held monthly meetings where it discussed plans for future initiatives and trainings. In fact, the committee has provided staff training to local business and organizations and has plans to expand its training to help other businesses and organizations become dementia friendly. 

San Antonio, TX

In a great example of Dementia Friendly communities working closely with the education sector, Dementia Friendly San Antonio (DFSA) is led by an advisory board of community members and Caring for Caregiver program, which is based at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. These partners came together to form DFSA to address the pressing need in Texas for an inclusive community that supports families touched by dementia. More than 390,000 Texans age 65 years and older live with Alzheimer’s or other dementias and this number is expected to grow by nearly 30 percent by the year 2025. By embracing cross-sector approach to partnerships, DFSA has implemented initiatives across an array of community sectors. At a Dementia Friendly town hall meeting, DFSA’s advisory board gathered more than 250 community stakeholders for a roundtable discussion that addressed themes and priorities important to the San Antonio community. DFSA advisory board is leading the charge to begin addressing these priorities. The board includes representatives from committed sectors consisting of the University of Texas San Antonio School of Nursing, the University Health System and the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office. 

Alzheimer’s Association Releases 2019 Facts and Figures Report

 
The Alzheimer’s Association has released its 2019 Facts and Figures report, infographic and an overview video. Facts highlighted in the report include:
 
•    5.8 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s. By 2050, this number is projected to rise to nearly 14 million. 
•    Every 65 seconds someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s. 
•    More than 16 million Americans provide unpaid care for people with Alzheimer’s or other dementias.
•    These caregivers provided an estimated 18.5 billion hours of care valued at nearly $234 billion.

CBS This Morning Highlights Results from USAgainstAlzheimer’s Poll

A recent edition of CBS This Morning highlighted results from a USAgainstAlzheimers national A-LIST survey in a segment titled “Falling in love while caring for your spouse with Alzheimer's disease.” Key findings from the A-List survey include:

  • A majority of couples report they discuss patient-related preferences, but over 60 percent of those surveyed say they omitted or avoided a conversation about their spouse or partner seeking outside companionship.
  • When respondents were asked, "If you had Alzheimer's or dementia, would you support or be against your spouse or partner having outside companionship/affection?" Responses were divided: Support (39 percent), Unsure (42 percent) Against (19 percent).
  • Respondents were divided on the question of whether the Alzheimer’s patient being in a facility or at home would make a difference for a spouse to have another relationship. 25 percent said “Yes” and 25 percent said “Unsure,” and close to 50 percent said "No." 

The USAgainstAlzheimer’s A-LIST is an online community of people with or at risk for Alzheimer’s disease, other dementias, and mild cognitive impairment and includes current and former care partners. The A-LIST conducts surveys on patient and caregiver preferences, patient-doctor relationships, clinical trials, caregiver health, and technology. 

Dementia Friends USA Now in 21 States

With the addition of Missouri and Texas, the Dementia Friends USA initiative is now operating in 21 states! Dementia Friends Missouri will be administered by the Missouri Association of Area Agencies on Aging and will establish a network of Dementia Champions at Area Agencies on Aging across the state to offer Dementia Friend sessions. Dementia Friends Texas will be administered by Texas Christian University in collaboration with The University of Texas San Antonio School of Nursing, which will achieve statewide reach with Dementia Friends through outreach to health care professionals, students, staff and faculty. Dementia Friends USA, administered by Dementia Friendly America in the United States, is part of a global movement developed by the Alzheimer’s Society in the United Kingdom that aims to help everyone in a community understand what dementia is, how it affects people, and how everyone can make a difference for people touched by dementia. Learn if your state is one of 21 states now offering Dementia Friends sessions.

Dementia Friends USA

There Are 30,851 Dementia Friends across the United States. Join the Movement by becoming a Dementia Friend today! 

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Dementia Friendly America

Interested in starting a Dementia Friendly Community initiative? Contact Dementia Friendly America for resources and support! Check the DFA Getting Started webpage for additional information.
 
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