Dementia Friendly Denver

Tia Sauceda, our Director of Adult Day and Respite, was interviewed on No Copay Radio on March 4 about Dementia Friendly Denver. We are so excited to be supporting this effort.  Here is a link to a recording of the show (Tia is the first half) and below are her talking points, explaining the initiative. You can also find out more on their website www.dementiafriendlydenver.org.

What is Dementia Friendly Denver?

Dementia Friendly Denver is a part of Dementia Friendly America, a program that was introduced at the 2015 White House Conference on Aging.  Denver was selected as one of six early adopter cities. Dementia Friendly Denver or DFD as we call it, is a not for profit collaborative whose mission is to improve the quality of life for those in the Denver area living with dementia and their family caregivers. Our Steering Committee is made up of volunteers representing eight sectors of industry, government and community services.

You are talking about dementia – what exactly is dementia and what types of dementia does DFD address?

Dementia is an umbrella term, sort of like the word cancer. It refers to diseases and conditions that affect cognitive function. Examples of dementia would be Alzheimer’s disease, which accounts for approximately 70% of all cases of dementia, vascular dementia, Frontotemporal dementia, dementia with Lewy Body, and Parkinson’s related dementia to name the most common types.

What exactly is DFD doing to make our community more dementia friendly?

The Dementia Friendly Denver Team has selected seven initiatives for 2017-2018.

Community Education

We will be conducting dementia education sessions for the Denver area public. The agenda will include everything from basic information regarding dementia to warning signs to communication and caregiver skills to brain health to the latestresearch outlook.

Dementia Friendly Business Designations

Denver area business can earn this designation by pledging to treat customers with dementia with respect and dignity and by offering employees dementia education.

Planning Training for Family Caregivers

We will be providing information on how to plan for the dementia journey with your loved one. This training will especially target Denver’s diverse populations.

Dementia Friendly Sunday Dinners at Restaurants and Hotels

Participating restaurant and hotels will provide a quiet dining area and simplified menu for families who would like to make a reservation for a dinner out with loved ones with dementia. Servers will be trained on dementia communication skills.

Dementia Education for Government Employees

We will be providing dementia training for those working directly with the public and general dementia education for government employees in various agencies and departments.

Dementia Resource Guide

We have created a Guide to resources in the Denver area for various forms on Dementia. Our goal is to place these guides in physician and hospital waiting rooms.

Dementia Wallet Cards

We have created wallet sized cards with dementia information and communication tips.

How did Dementia Friendly Denver know what initiatives to undertake?

The DFD Team conducted a survey of our community to identify gaps in knowledge and services regarding dementia.  The top gaps were:

  • Community Education
  • Resource Awareness
  • Caregiver Support
  • Stigma surround dementia

Each of our seven Initiatives addresses at least one of these gaps.

How can the Denver community get involved with Dementia Friendly Denver?

Individuals, businesses, and organizations can get involved by visiting www.dementiafriendlydenver.org and clicking on the Get Involved tab. We welcome volunteers, sponsors and contributors who want to help us make the Denver area more dementia friendly!