Dementia-Friendly Kick-off Event planned

As the aging population  increases the number of people living with Alzheimer’s  and other forms of dementia does as well.

Communities around the world are realizing the importance of educating  the entire community about those living with these diseases. While people  with dementia may eventually become homebound  or live in care facilities,  most of their first years are spent living in their communities visiting  stores, banks, restaurants,  health care facilities  and places of worship.

The Sheboygan County Dementia-Friendly Community  Task Force is working on a project to accommodate the needs of those living with dementia in Sheboygan County with the goal of better preparing everyone  - from store clerks to police officers - to support people with dementia and their caregivers by creating  a “dementia-friendly community,” a growing movement that is happening  throughout the world.

The movement is focused  not just on increasing  awareness and reducing  stigma, but also on helping people stay in their homes and their communities as long as possible. The Dementia-Friendly  Task Force has been meeting for several months to begin the process  of creating a Dementia-  Friendly Sheboygan County. It has reviewed the tool kit for building dementia-friendly communities  published by the Wisconsin Healthy Brain Initiative.

This initiative is dedicated  to building a community  that values, supports  and accepts individuals  living with memory loss through leadership, partnership and education.  Although the tool kit provides a road map and resources to guide communities  to becoming dementia-  friendly, each community decides what needs to be addressed in order to support people with dementia in their own community.

The Sheboygan County Dementia-Friendly Community  Task Force will host a Community Kick-Off Event from 9 a.m. until  noon on Aug. 22 in the Wombat Room of the main building at UW-Sheboygan.

Recently, the group held information gathering  sessions throughout Sheboygan County where attendees were informed of the growing need for Sheboygan County to become  dementia-friendly. Attendees were asked to identify places in the community they felt needed to become dementia-  friendly.

The kick-off event will share the results of the sessions and provide opportunities  for organizations,  businesses and individuals  to become involved  in shaping a Dementia-  Friendly Sheboygan County. For additional information  or to register for the event call 920-4674100 or email Lisa.Hurley

Lisa Hurley is the caregiver  coordinator at the ADRC