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Dementia Friendly Community Advocacy

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Friday, November 26, 2021by bdust

Dementia Friendly Community 

A dementia friendly community is a community that is educated about dementia and the effects on families and caregivers.  Our goal is to equip all businesses and agencies with knowledge, resources, and confidence to help people living with dementia and their caregivers live quality lives.

Midland Area on Aging and Effingham Area Alzheimer’s Awareness are wanting to train area businesses, government entities and agencies about dementia and how they can help their customers, employees, neighbors, friends and families understand dementia and how it affects them.  

Our Goal #1 is to coordinate training throughout the City of Effingham so that businesses, service agencies and the community in general are more aware of how to recognize and respond to persons with dementia and their caregivers. 

 Goal #2 is to be listed on the DFA Registry. There is a national and state Dementia Friendly Registry that we are hoping to get the City of Effingham on.  The Dementia Friendly America website is www.dfamerica.org and the state’s website is www.ilbrainhealth.org.  Please check these sites out.

We have formed a task force of people from businesses and agencies from the City of Effingham.  We have representatives from the HSHS St. Anthony Hospital, Effingham Public Library, City of Effingham, faith community, Chamber of Commerce, and caregivers along with Midland Area Agency on Aging and Effingham Area Alzheimer’s Awareness that are committed to making the City of Effingham and Effingham County a dementia friendly community.

The training for a business to become dementia friendly is 30 minutes long and can be done at any time convenient for the business or agency.  There is no fee for this training.  The person doing the training will provide everything needed.  The training can be done more than one time to accommodate the business that has quite a few employees.  It can also be done virtually.  Each business or agency will receive window stickers that state it is a dementia friendly community member to put up at their place of business and each participant will receive a smaller sticker for their vehicle, if desired.

The training consists of education about the most common types of dementia, ways to communicate with someone living with dementia, and ways your business can make their premises more dementia friendly (lighting, flooring, signage, etc.)  This training can also help each business or agency understand what an employee may be going through if they have a loved one with dementia they are caring for.

Effingham Area Alzheimer’s Awareness has already been working in the community and has made several businesses dementia friendly.  They include the Teutopolis State Bank (all branches), Bank of Hillsboro, Washington Savings Bank (Effingham and Mattoon), Effingham Public Library, and Community Support Services. 

If you want more information, please call Shannon Nosbisch with Effingham Area Alzheimer’s Awareness at 217-663-0010 or Nancy Hinton with Midland Area Agency on Aging at 618-532-1853.

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