A dementia friendly community is a place where people with dementia can live their lives with meaning, purpose and value.
The goal of the Dementia Friendly Community Initiative is to create a community of awareness here in Indian River County that allows individuals with dementia to experience a higher quality of life and to be in situations where they are met with understanding and are given support whenever necessary.
To achieve this goal, the Alzheimer & Parkinson Association of Indian River County provides training and education to individuals and businesses about the challenges and needs of families affected by dementia.
The organization works with all parts of the community such as banks, restaurants, skilled nursing facilities, schools, churches and police and fire departments. Through the specialized training, participants are able to experience some of the challenges that individuals with dementia experience on a daily basis. Participants are given educational tools and techniques to help them interact with these individuals in a meaningful and productive manner.
The Dementia Friendly Community Initiative is made possible in part by a $100,000 grant from Indian River Impact 100.
The Impact 100 grant awarded to the Alzheimer & Parkinson Association was used to buy an RV — referred to as a “rolling classroom” — to take around town to area banks, grocery stores, senior living communities, churches and other businesses to train employees and elevate awareness about the needs of people living in Indian River County who are grappling with some form of dementia, and how to better interact with those people and their caregivers. An outreach coordinator was hired to coordinate this effort and make those vital connections with the business community.
Part of the dementia friendly business training includes an opportunity to take a Virtual Dementia Tour®, a program developed by Second Wind Dreams. It is an experience that enhances understanding and empathy for caregivers and family members of people grappling with Alzheimer’s disease and related memory disorders.
Elements of the tour simulate diminished physical and sensory skills as participants wear glasses that simulate macular degeneration, shoe inserts that give the experience of what it might be like to have peripheral neuropathy, gloves that hinder the wearer’s sense of touch, and headphones that play “confusion” tapes.
For more information or to sign up for dementia friendly training, contact Claire Babcock at 772-563-0505 or email@example.com.
About the organization
The Alzheimer & Parkinson Association of Indian River County is dedicated to serving county residents with disorders affecting memory and movement by promoting quality of life and choice through advocacy, support, empowerment, education and research connections. For additional information, go to the website at alzpark.org or on Facebook at Alzheimer & Parkinson Association of Indian River County.
What does a dementia friendly community look like?
- Businesses that foster environments that support customers with dementia and their caregivers
- Supportive options for independent living and meaningful community engagement
- Welcoming and supportive faith communities
- Health care that promotes early diagnosis and uses dementia care best practices
- Residential settings that offer memory loss services and supports
- Dementia-aware and responsive legal and financial planning
- Dementia-aware local government agencies, planning and emergency responses
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