What is a Dementia Friendly Community?

By Lupina Fry, Wellness Nurse

When someone takes the time to learn more about what it’s like for a person living with dementia, we move closer to answering the question of “what is a dementia-friendly community.”

People living with dementia often experience their surroundings as disorienting, confusing, and sometimes worst of all, as dangerous. “Where was I going, What did I need, Who was I meeting?” Questions like these can be disconcerting but imagine that nothing you see around you seems to help; people seem irritated or unapproachable; you feel uncomfortable asking for help, and nothing indicates where you are though you’re certain you’ve been there before.

Dementia Friendly America encourages communities to foster the ability of people living with dementia to remain in community and engage and thrive in day-to-day living -basically meeting a person’s needs while maintaining quality of life and dignity.

Now imagine, as someone living with dementia, encountering a friendly face, easy-to-read directional signage, and a clock telling the time and date. Imagine cheerful sounds, and a comfortable place to sit while waiting for the memories to return or a friend to appear. That scenario would certainly provide ease and comfort.

Imagine a neighbor who offers help with compassion and acceptance, brushing aside the temptation to judge and offering a helpful hand in the spirit of Christ. Neighbors who are understanding and accepting of people living with dementia, who cannot change, though most certainly they wish they could. A dementia friendly community is community – it’s neighbor helping neighbor, being aware, concerned and actively working together for the betterment of the entire community.

Trinity Woods is offering a Dementia Virtual Tour on September 26 and 27. This event will give participants a hands-on experience of what a person living with dementia may encounter. It is a
great way to learn how to help make sense of noted behaviors and actions. Call Lupina Fry, Wellness Nurse, at 918-346-6618 to reserve an appointment for this experience.

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