About

A team reviews the patient resource folders

Dementia does or soon will touch all of us.  We are an “in the meantime” organization. We help people discover that “in the meantime,” until cures for the causes of dementia are found, we can make life changing differences NOW for people striving to live well with dementia.  We leverage and provide resources, expertise, activities, and education in Northern Colorado communities so that people living with dementia and their care partners can stay engaged and connected in relationships and meaningful life.

Dementia-Friendly Communities of Northern Colorado® started as a volunteer initiative in November, 2015 as a result of the incredible community support we received with the B Sharp Arts Engagement program, a collaborative project enabling couples living with dementia to attend the symphony and participate in a research study.  From that project has emerged the larger initiative, and now non-profit organization since January, 2017, Dementia-Friendly Communities of Northern Colorado. We are proudly affiliated with the Purple Angel Ambassadors, an international dementia-friendly awareness campaign. We also collaborate locally with the Alzheimer’s Association and many Northern Colorado senior care organizations.  We are also actively engaged with the North American Dementia Action Alliance.

  • 'B' Our Partner & Support Our Signature Programs:

    • B Sharp
      B Sharp Arts Engagement®
      music (Fort Collins Symphony) and visual arts (Fort Collins Museum of Art) research programs (CSU)
    • B Social
      Memory Cafés
      Life Enrichment Opportunities
      Care Partner Support
      Individual consultation, Caregiver Pampering Day, Caregiver/Care Partner Education-Stressbusters and Powerful Tools for Caregiving
    • B Aware
      Community Education
      Business Training
      Patient Resource Folders
    • B Empowered
      Support groups
      Dementia-Friendly Leader®  
      training and designation for senior professional organizations
    • B Generous
      Support our mission

Who we are:

BOARD OF DIRECTORS:    The Board is currently seeking to strategically add members with a passion to sustain and grow our efforts in helping Northern Colorado become increasingly more dementia-friendly.  We will consider for membership those individuals who are collaborative in our communities and possess the specific skills needed to complement those already shared by current board members.  Contact us if interested in serving with us.

The Founder and Executive Director is Cyndy Luzinski.  Cyndy is an advanced practice nurse and dementia practitioner. She is a strong advocate for community collaboration and providing relationship-based/person-centered dementia care. Cyndy enjoys one on one consultation with families, dementia-friendly business training, and facilitating a dementia care partners’ support group and memory cafes in Northern Colorado.  She is the first Level 1 “Contented Dementia” practitioner in North America after having met requirements of the Contented Dementia Trust’s person-centered care model from the UK. She is passionate about helping people discover that there is still a lot of living to do and joy to be shared even when dementia becomes part of the life journey.

Craig Luzinski

Craig Luzinski is the founding sponsor and President of Dementia-Friendly Communities of Northern Colorado, generously supporting the initiative in honor of his father-in-law who experienced dementia in the later years of his life.  Craig is a thought leader and visionary health care executive who earned his doctorate in Strategic Leadership from Regent University in Virginia. He has a masters degree in nursing administration and a breadth and depth of experience in healthcare which give him valuable insights and perspective matched by few in the industry.  He is currently working as Chief Nursing Officer/Chief Operating Officer at Longmont United Hospital.

Andrea Scandrett

Andrea Scandrett earned her masters degree in Gerontology at Lindenwood University in Missouri.  She possesses a natural love for people living with dementia and their families. She enthusiastically volunteered to assist with memory cafes when we started them in Northern Colorado in 2014.  Her homeschooling experience with her 7 children and with other students in co-ops prepared her to now use her creativity, humor, and skills with coordinating several memory cafes and innovative community social engagement opportunities.  She serves as the Life Enrichment Coordinator, Secretary of the board, and liaison to our community advisory board.

Paul Matthews

Paul Matthews (The Group Real Estate) Paul Matthews is a real estate broker with The Group Inc. and has been a Northern Colorado resident since 2008. He previously worked as a public relations manager for the Banner Alzheimer’s Institute in Phoenix and is passionate about helping people who are living with memory and thinking problems. Paul is actively involved with a number of local non-profit organizations and enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters.

Mary Kopko

Mary Kopco (Fort Collins Symphony)  Mary A. Kopco is the Executive Director of the Fort Collins Symphony with over 38 years of experience in the non-profit sector. She earned her Master of Arts in History from James Madison University, Virginia and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Emory and Henry College, Virginia.  Hired in 2015 by the Fort Collins Symphony, one of her first projects was to help establish the B Sharp Arts Engagement program where people living with dementia and their caregivers have the opportunity to attend Symphony concerts and participate in a Colorado State University study aimed at measuring the impact the concerts have on quality of life. Through her involvement with B Sharp, Mary has become an ardent advocate of the work being done by Dementia-Friendly Communities of Northern Colorado to help those living with dementia and their care partners feel supported by the community, and to be able to live as independently and joyfully as possible.  She asked to join the DFC NoCo board in order to help the organization become financially viable and sustainable in the long-term.

Ross Lane

Ross G. Lane  received his PH.D. from Arizona State University in 1974 in Counseling Psychology. He has worked extensively is most fields in mental health and invested much of his professional life working with older adults in nursing care, psychiatric facilities, outpatient settings, and through State commissions dealing with Alzheimers and Dementia related illness. He has provided numerous workshops for families and significant others relating to memory deficits and developing care plans for families needing to learn how to maintain healthy living patterns.

JeniCross_800x800

Jeni Cross, Ph.D., is currently Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology. She earned a bachelor s degree from Colorado State University and received her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California at Davis. Jeni’s research interests include community attachment/sense of place, land use and conservation, sustainability, inter-agency collaboration, social networks, and social norms. She has received grants from the U.S. Department of Education and Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention. She is a community sociologist who regularly works with public schools and community agencies on a variety of community-based participatory research projects centered on health promotion and community development.  She was instrumental in starting the B Sharp Arts Engagement program in Northern Colorado which served as the impetus for launching the “Dementia-Friendly Communities of Northern Colorado” initiative.

OUR COMMUNITY ADVISORY BOARD is made of up of people in the community who are passionate about collaborating in order to make our community a place where people living with dementia are:

  • able to live as independently as possible
  • met with understanding
  • supported as needed to be safe
  • encouraged to maintain their social connections
  • enabled to function in environments which minimize anxiety and maximize purpose, dignity, contentment, and joy

 

“Nothing about them without them” is a mantra we take seriously.  We seek the expert advice of people living with dementia. We give voice to those experts and offer programs and support based on direct feedback from people living with dementia and their care partners.  We have 2 couples who have or currently serve on our advisory board.

 

Jim and Walta Ruff
Debbie and Jerry Crandall, experts in currently walking the dementia journey and using the Contented Dementia approach
Andrea Scandrett, MA Gerontology, memory café coordinator and facilitator
Deborah Bayliss, MS, RN, retired community case manager, program developer and community educator
Katie Fahrenbruch, MA Gerontology, Regional Director, Alzheimer’s Association
Lynette McGowan, Larimer County Office on Aging Caregiver Support, Caregiver Support Program Coordinator
Dawn Peapke, Kaiser Permanente
Peggy Budai, UCHealth
Julie Roth-Carter, Banner Health
Sylvia Garcia, Old Town Library
Lynn Stutheit, Community professional caregiver

Ultimately, this non-profit organization isn’t just about doing one more great thing in Northern Colorado. Our vision for building AND SUSTAINING dementia-friendly communities is to leverage, foster collaboration,  and offer support needed so that in Northern Colorado, no one walking the dementia journey has to walk alone.

Our website is meant to be a place to find “all things dementia” in our area, including  local, national, and international resources and events.

We strive:

  • To listen to the expert advice of people living with dementia and share that with the community
  • To increase dementia-awareness through education of businesses and organizations, as well as offering one on one consultations, general community education and dementia care partner support groups.
  • To elevate the culture of dementia care in Northern Colorado, so that people walking the dementia journey can have HOPE that there will be people in our communities who are caring and competent in being able to provide a sense of contentment and well-being for their entire lives.
It’s time we change our minds about people whose minds are changing.

~Allen Powers