What would you do if you found out your neighbor had dementia? Would you take them a casserole? Would you keep an extra eye out in case they wander? Would you try to avoid them, or would you go over and have a friendly conversation?
Though not a normal part of aging, almost everyone in our community has been – or will be – affected by Alzheimer’s or a dementia-related diagnosis in some way. Current statistics say that 1 in 10 people age 65 and older have dementia, with that number continuing to grow as people age. You may not realize this, but many neighbors and friends live in fear of how they or their loved one will be treated if others knew about their dementia diagnosis.
If you’ve been following ADRC or the Brown County Dementia Friendly Community Coalition, you know that one of our goals is to create a Dementia Friendly Brown County. One of the initiatives is called Dementia Friends. This 1-hour program is intended for anyone of any age to learn more about dementia, what it might be like to have dementia, and how you can make a difference in your neighbors’ lives.
What makes you a “Dementia Friend?” At the end of the session, you pick an action you want to carry out in your everyday life that you believe will make you a better “friend” to those with dementia. Your action can be as simple as, “Start saying ‘People living with dementia’ instead of ‘People suffering from dementia.” If you want to go big, go big! Your action can be to become a volunteer for the Memory Cafes (once they resume post-COVID) or even become a Dementia Friends Champion to be able to provide these sessions to the community!
Spring is here and the ground is thawing out! The Brown County Dementia Friendly Community Coalition has created yard signs for Dementia Friends to put in their yards, letting their neighbors and friends know they are friendly and accepting of those who have dementia as well as their caregivers. Imagine the relief, comfort, and support that neighbors with dementia and their caregivers would feel just seeing those signs and knowing their neighbors may understand and be welcoming.
Join us for a free online session!
Thursday, April 15th, 2021
2:00 – 3:00pm
Call ADRC at
(920) 448-4300 to register!