January 2019 Newsletter

DFA Welcomes Two New Communities: River Forest, IL and Cary, NC

The Village of River Forest, Illinois has joined the Dementia Friendly America network of communities! Dementia Friendly River Forest is taking a multi-sector approach to develop and share innovative dementia-friendly initiatives with the community. After holding a 2018 kick-off meeting, Dementia Friendly River Forest chose the Village of River Forest, the Oak Park/River Forest Township and the Loyola University Health System as the champion organizations that will coordinate the initiative. Dementia Friendly River Forest has received strong support from the mayor of the Village of River Forest and the local police and fire departments and has begun developing partnerships with local libraries as well as home care and social services organizations. The Dementia Friendly River Forest team will work with the Center for Gerontology at Concordia University Chicago to track its progress and share findings with the community. The initiative is planning to develop the “River Forest Care Corps” as a way to reduce stigma and support persons living with dementia and their families and to provide opportunities for volunteers to offer respite care.
Dementia Capable Cary, located in North Carolina, has also joined the DFA network of communities. Its mission is to empower, educate, and engage individuals with dementia, their caregivers, and businesses to create a community that is ready and willing to serve those with dementia and their families. Dementia Capable Cary has several goals, including to: 1) revolutionize the way Cary, NC views dementia and caregiving, 2) develop a safe, well-supported, and respectful environment for older adults and their families within the Town of Cary, 3) offer certification and ongoing training for Cary and surrounding area businesses to become dementia friendly, 4) provide resources and support to older adults and their families navigating the aging journey, and 5) create synergistic partnership among the business sector, individuals, town entities, and faith communities that promotes cooperation to achieve common goals for our growing number of senior adults. Dementia Capable Cary has achieved several successes, including a partnership with the local police department that has resulted in training and an initiative to support people living at home, a Senior Resource Guide, and a dementia friendly business program.
To join the DFA Network of communities, interested communities submit an along with three letters of support from community partners. Contact DFA for more information.

Georgia Department of Human Services is Newest State Lead for Dementia Friends
The Georgia Department of Human Services, Division of Aging has become the newest Dementia Friends program partner. Dementia Friends USA, administered by Dementia Friendly America in the U.S., 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. In order to expand the program across the state, the Division of Aging plans to partner with new and existing partners in health care, academia, government, and community organizations. It will also continue working with the Georgia Gerontology Society to bolster current dementia friendly community efforts happening statewide. Learn if your state is one of 19 states now offering Dementia Friends sessions.

BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer's Act Becomes Law

The Building Our Largest Dementia (BOLD) Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act, signed into law on December 31, 2018, will create a national public health infrastructure to combat Alzheimer’s disease, preserve brain health and implement effective Alzheimer's interventions focused on increasing early detection and diagnosis, reducing risk, preventing avoidable hospitalizations and other public health issues. The BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer's Act will accomplish this by establishing Alzheimer's and Related Dementias Public Health Centers of Excellence, providing funding to state, local and tribal public health departments, and increasing data analysis and timely reporting. 

Become a Walkable Community Advocate – Applications Open

As more communities take action to better support individuals with dementia, providing a supportive walkable environment and accessible transportation options are key components. America Walks is a national non-profit empowering communities to create safe, accessible and enjoyable walking conditions for all. Their Walking College is an interactive, online educational program for advocates with a passion for making their communities more walkable and livable for all. The purpose of the program is to expand knowledge, build connections, and develop plans to improve walkability in your community. America Walks seeks applications from diverse individuals who are interested in becoming involved in the walking movement. The 2019 Walking College Application Process will open on February 1st, 2019. Visit the America Walks website for additional information. 

Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement Brain Health Guide

The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement (WAM) is a nonprofit organization founded by Maria Shriver that is dedicated to raising awareness about women’s increased risk for Alzheimer’s and to educating the public—women and men—about lifestyle changes they can make to protect their brain health. Check out WAM’s Tips for a
Brain-Healthy Life for brain health tips including information on exercise, nutrition, sleep, well-being and social connection.
Dementia Friends USA

There Are 30,066 Dementia Friends across the United States. Our goal is to reach 25,000 by the end of this year! Join the Movement by becoming a Dementia Friend today! 


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