Dementia Friendly

New Year Visions for a Dementia Friendly Georgia

Robin Andrews Smith of 11:11 Collaborative shares Orchard at Brookhaven updates and exciting news. Learn more about Dementia Friendly Georgia, Engagement research from Georgia State University, and Get Out & About a new activity program for families with early-stage dementia! Opening in 2019, Orchard at Brookhaven wishes families and friends a Happy New Year!

A Dementia Friendly community is a city or county where more people understand dementia and there is less fear or avoidance of it. They are communities who chose to see dementia as a disability that changes over time and take action to ensure care partners and people living with Alzheimer’s or other dementias can continue to engage in their local community activities and be supported by efforts that create a “dementia capable” culture for families.

Dementia Friendly New Year

Creating an informed, safe and respectful community for people with dementia includes:

  • Raising awareness about Alzheimer’s and dementia
  • Transforming attitudes, and moving people into supportive action
  • Having options and programs that foster quality of life for persons touched by the various medical conditions causing early, mid or late stage dementia abilities
  • Creating and promoting community life that welcomes and involves everyone

In December the Georgia Gerontology Society was happy to announce the award of five grants to foster adoption of dementia friendly practices in Georgia. The grants were made possible due to funding from the Georgia Department of Human Service and include:

  • Alzheimer’s Outreach Center, Albany, GA
  • DeKalb County Government, Atlanta, GA
  • Hospice of Northeast Georgia Medical Center, Gainesville, GA
  • Northwest Georgia Regional Commission AAA, Rome, GA
  • Orchard Senior Living, Brookhaven, GA

Orchard at Brookhaven is a new assisted living and memory care opening spring of 2019. They applied for and received this grant to support founding families of their new community as well as residents in the City of Brookhaven and metro Atlanta who can benefit. Phase 1 will include steps to convene an action team of community leaders including city officials, transportation and public space employees, business owners, emergency responders, faith leaders, neighbors, families, and persons living with the condition.

Brookhaven and Dekalb County residents are invited to “What Would It Mean to Be Dementia Friendly” a first conversation presentation February 15th, 2019 from 9:00 am to 11:30 am being held at 1634 Afton Lane, Brookhaven, GA 30329. Click here for more information.

Dr. William Hu, a neurologist at Emory University who oversees the Hu Lab, will present on this important topic. He will facilitate a first community conversation and share his experiences from around the globe as well as results from his 2017 focus group research funded by Decatur, Georgia’s Dementia Spotlight Foundation.

Reducing stigmas of dementia and raising awareness is a key area of this movement happening across the globe. In 2012 the World Health Organization deemed dementia a public health priority as the number of people living with the condition is expected to be over 50 million by 2020. The Alzheimer’s Society UK led the way in 2013 launching the Dementia Friends initiative to help address the high number of people being socially isolated with an aim to give people a better understanding of dementia and help persons living with the condition, to feel respected and supported.

Dementia Friendly America was launched September 2015 following that year’s White House Conference on Aging. Based upon Minnesota’s statewide successful initiative, ACT on Alzheimer’s, the DFA is a national network of communities, organizations, and individuals seeking to ensure that cities across the US are equipped to support people living with dementia and their caregivers. The aim is to invite all stakeholders in a community to play a role.

In May 2015 Tenessee formed the Purple Cities Alliance, launching a formal effort to make Knoxville one of the first dementia-friendly cities in the US to serve as a model for other communities across the country. The goal to create safe living environments that allow those with dementia to be surrounded by compassionate and understanding neighbors was sponsored by the Pat Summitt Foundation and offers training materials to help other cities create awareness.

AARP believes Age-Friendly and Dementia Friendly Communities are better together and wants cities to make efforts on behalf of both aging and dementia. The AARP Livable Communities Initiative was launched in 2017 and provides toolkits and resources for directing cities to help residents safely age in place while fostering residents’ continued engagement in the communities civic, economic, and social life. Proper planning and design are critical to ensuring safe and walkable streets; age-friendly housing and transportation options, access to needed services; and opportunities for residents of all ages to continue participating in community life.

Orchard Senior Living is proud to have the opportunity to be a resource and advocate for City of Brookhaven and Atlanta metro area families aging or living with dementia.

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