What is a Dementia Friendly Community? A community that is Dementia Friendly is a place in which people with dementia and their caregivers are empowered, supported, and included. They understand their rights and can live to their full potential.
Why do we want to be Dementia Friendly? Yellow Springs is an aging community. Over 25% of our community is over 65 and that percentage is expected to rise. One in ten individuals over the age 65 have some type of dementia. Many of our friends and neighbors are experiencing dementia.
What is Dementia Friendly Yellow Springs? Dementia Friendly Yellow Springs was a grant funded project of the Yellow Springs Senior Center. The goal of Dementia Friendly Yellow Springs was to increase our community’s knowledge of best practices for interacting and supporting our friends and neighbors who have dementia and their caregivers.
Through our partnership with Greene County Council on Aging, we have trained local first responders, chamber of commerce members, library staff, Senior Center staff, and the faith based community.
We have also provided education about dementia and its various forms, such as Alzheimer’s Disease, through articles in the Yellow Springs News, book discussion groups in cooperation with the Yellow Springs branch of he Greene County Library, and a free movie shown at the Little Art Theatre.
In October 2018, we launched an ongoing support group for caregivers that meets in the United Methodist Church on the first and third Tuesday of the month at 5:30–7:30 pm.
We had an Advisory Committee made up of community residents, including caregivers, local businesses, the Mayor of Yellow Springs, and staff of organizations that work in related fields such as transportation, social services, and health care, among others.
As a caring community we want to be responsive to the growing needs of our community members and their caregivers.
What’s Next? While the official funding for Dementia Friendly Yellow Springs ended in December 2018, we hope we have left a legacy of learning, caring, and thriving. The Caregiver Support group is continuing and we are available to provide training on dementia friendly practices to interested parties.
Additionally, in the coming years, we will be working with Glen Helen on a Dementia Adventure outdoor activity program and with the Yellow Springs Historical Society on a Memory Box project.