Monday September 5, 2016
Every 3 seconds someone in the world develops dementia. Age is the biggest risk factor for dementia. Research is exploding with potential treatments and "cures" for various causes of dementia. Until the "cures" are found, we all can learn simple strategies and techniques so that our friends and neighbors walking the dementia journey don't have to walk alone. That's what the “Dementia-Friendly Communities of Northern Colorado” initiative is all about. We are leveraging the expertise, resources, activities, and momentum in our communities so that people living with dementia can stay engaged in the relationships and activities which give their lives meaning in Northern Colorado.
Since the beginning of this initiative in November, 2015, our self-directed work team (under the Foundation on Aging of Larimer County/Partnership for Age Friendly Communities) has been working to achieve 3 goals:
1.) Create and improve this website so that it is a source for “all things dementia” in Northern Colorado…it’s still a work in progress
2.) Provide dementia-friendly/dementia-awareness education to 30 organizations/businesses/groups…we have already met and will exceed that goal, and
3.) Throw a fabulous party to celebrate those people and organizations who were early leaders and supporters of this initiative. Our year end celebration on November 29, is going to be like a great big memory café, to give those who attend a sense of what goes on at a memory café. The theme for the celebration is “Enter My Reality.” We are accepting donations to help sponsor the event.
As we prepare to give an update at the Partnership for Age Friendly Communities Annual Volunteer Appreciation event this month, we look toward providing continued business training in 2017 along with the opportunity for organizations and businesses to become collaborative impact partners with us. Please check out our Facebook page, “Dementia-Friendly Communities of Northern Colorado” for updates of activities and postings of latest organizations to participate in dementia-friendly education. Let businesses you frequent know that you’d appreciate them participating in dementia awareness training next year! In addition to the training, we will continue to leverage all the great activities and projects in Northern Colorado (B Sharp Arts Engagement, Northern CO Music & Memory Project, Virtual Dementia Tours, HIS NEIGHBOR PHIL presentations, Okay Chorale, Support Groups, and of course, Memory Cafes!). All this because we took the advice of dementia experts and friends in MN and WI who urged us to “just start somewhere.” That’s what we’ve done…and that’s what we do…together. In Northern Colorado, we are making a positive difference in many lives and realizing that we are better together!
PS--feel free to join our Memory Cafe Friends team for the Alzheimer's Association walk on Sept. 24!