Every 66 seconds someone develops dementia and 70 percent of people with dementia live within the community rather than in a care community. As a result of this, individuals need to make every effort to initiate positive changes in our communities to better support those with cognitive impairments. Every person can make a difference if we work together.
Dementia friendly communities are an easy way to ensure that everyone in the community is knowledgeable, informed, and therefore respectful towards those with cognitive impairments.
So how can individuals become more dementia friendly?
1. Raise awareness in your community about dementia and cognitive impairments and create a community environment where these individuals feel accepted, understood, and supported. Work with Dementia Friendly America and your local citizens association to form guidelines for this.
2. Design services with dementia in mind, reducing
obstacles, and including quiet, safe areas. Encourage vendors to offer dementia friendly dining, services, or shopping hours at quieter, less busy times of the day to better support those with cognitive impairments.
3. Support free transportation services and helpful volunteer services for those with dementia. This will enable them to go out safely and remain a part of the community.
4. Provide spiritual support centers for families and caregivers in collaboration with local synagogues, churches, or other spiritual based providers.
5. Help to combat loneliness and withdrawal for caregivers and those with impairments. Offer community programs and support groups providing emotional support and and respite for caregivers. This can be done through senior centers, churches, libraries, and more!
Each of us can make a difference in the lives of others! Visit Dementia Friendly America to find out more about creating safe and supportive spaces for those with cognitive impairments in your area!
Dementia Friendly America- https://www.dfamerica.org