September 2019 Newsletter

New Communities Continue to Join the DFA Network!

Dementia Friendly America continues to welcome new communities to the fold! Read on to learn about our newest communities in North Carolina and Virginia!

Charlotte Mecklenburg, NC

Dementia Friendly Charlotte Mecklenburg (DFCM) consists of organizations and individuals seeking to raise awareness about dementia while transforming attitudes to reduce stigma and barriers, create safe environments and improve quality of life for all who are living with dementia in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg community. The DFCM Steering Committee is comprised of diverse members, including government organizations, local universities, faith communities and dementia-specific associations. The initiative has been hard at work and has already developed a Dementia Friendly Business toolkit that helps local businesses to become certified Dementia Friendly Partners. 

Greenwich, NC

Age & Dementia Friendly Greenwich (ADFG) is a collaborative effort led by the Greenwich Commission on Aging and an Action Team that includes local government officials, key stakeholders, older adults, individuals living with dementia and their care partners. Projects underway include providing Dementia Friends sessions to all sectors of the community and working with the medical community to encourage early and accurate diagnosis of dementia. ADFG has 25 Dementia Champions who promote dementia awareness throughout the community with the goal of fostering an enhanced awareness of what it means to live with dementia—and how individuals can to help ensure that people living with dementia can live, engage, participate and thrive in the Town of Greenwich. Future projects include local certification of Age and Dementia Friendly Businesses and bringing Dementia Friends education to students in grades 6 through 12.   

Fairfax, VA

Dementia Friendly Fairfax (DFF) is the result of a partnership between Goodwin House Bailey’s Crossroads and Insight Memory Care Center and is supported by the Fairfax Area Commission on Aging and the Fairfax Area Agency on Aging. The Fairfax Area Commission on Aging has proposed that the Dementia Friendly Fairfax initiative be included in the Fairfax 50+ Plan. The DFF Action Team consists of representatives from local residential care services and community services, community volunteer ambassadors, commissioners appointed by elected officials to represent the aging population, and community members. DFF’s initial efforts are be focused on providing training to the neighborhood villages, local libraries and the community volunteer ambassadors who work with aging adults. The DFF Action Team will include members from each of Fairfax’s magisterial districts as well as the cities of Fairfax and Falls Church in order to ensure representation from all areas of Fairfax. DFF sees this initiative as an opportunity to increase awareness and knowledge of dementia, support those with dementia and their caregivers, and work toward becoming a dementia friendly community.

CDC’s Alzheimer’s Disease and Healthy Aging Program
The Healthy Brain Initiative (HBI), part of the Alzheimer’s Disease and Healthy Aging Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), provides data, information, and education to promote brain health. The initiative also includes information on Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias that can be shared in the community. Resources available through the CDC include:
Dementia Friends USA Now in 22 States!
With the addition of Colorado, the Dementia Friends USA initiative is now operating in 22 states! Dementia Friends Colorado will be administered by the Colorado Association of Area Agencies on Aging. Dementia Friends USA, administered in the United States by Dementia Friendly America, 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 22 states now offering Dementia Friends sessions.
ACL Launches RAISE Family Caregivers Act Federal Advisory Council

The U.S. Administration for Community Living (ACL) recently announced appointees to its new family caregiving federal advisory council established under the Recognize, Assist, Include, Support and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act. Deborah Stone-Walls, n4a President, is included on the Council. The 2018 RAISE Family Caregivers Act directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services to develop a national family caregiving strategy. The strategy will identify actions that communities, providers, government agencies and others are taking and may take to recognize and support family caregivers, and will include:

  • Promoting greater adoption of person- and family-centered care in all health care and long-term services and support settings, with the person and the family caregiver at the center of care teams
  • Assessment and service planning (including care transitions and coordination) involving care recipients and family caregivers
  • Information, education, training supports, referral and care coordination
  • Respite options
  • Financial security and workplace issues
Economic Cost of Dementia is “Tip of the Iceberg”

A new research review, Tip of the Iceberg: Assessing the Global Socioeconomic Costs of Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias and Strategic Implications for Stakeholders, highlights the hidden costs of dementia and suggests that traditional measures only show the "tip of the iceberg" of the total cost of dementia to society. The research team was comprised of an international array of leading organizations, including Shift Health, University of Exeter, Alzheimer’s Research UK and Banner Sun Health Research Institute. The analysis looked at the true cost of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias, finding that socioeconomic costs, such as the cost of health care for care partners, reduced quality of life and that "hidden" costs that stack up before diagnosis are overlooked by current estimates of dementia's economic impact. 
Tools to Educate and Inspire More People Living with Dementia to Become Advocates for Themselves
In the United Kingdom, the Alzheimer's Society partnered with Dementia Alliance International and the 3 Nations Dementia Working Group (3NDWG) to develop resources to educate, inspire and empower dementia self-advocates. A short film developed by the project features includes interviews with people living with dementia, including American self-advocate Kris McElroy, who describe their experiences and what motivates them to self-advocate. The film and the Directory of Resources, which collates relevant online resources to support inclusive working and self-advocacy, are now live. To watch the film or download the Directory, visit the Alzheimer's Society website.


Dementia Friends USA

There Are 55,263 Dementia Friends across the United States. Join the Movement by becoming a Dementia Friend today! 
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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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