Did you see the Daily Herald last Thursday? The village of Grayslake is striving to become dementia-friendly, to be a community where people with dementia and their families can continue to participate and engage in daily life and activities.
CareSmart and Right at Home Northern Lake County, our sponsor, will be kicking off the program in Grayslake this week by training the fire and police departments. During the training, we'll be focusing on increasing dementia awareness and promoting effective communication strategies. As the community moves forward, training will also occur in other service and business establishments.
Dementia is a group of symptoms that interfere with daily activities by affecting memory, thinking, and social skills. Alzheimer's disease is the most widely-diagnosed dementia disorder. Though people with dementia symptoms have challenges, they still retain much of their ability to live full lives with a little help from their family members, friends, and communities.
Dementia-friendly communities help to support people with dementia (and their families) by making it easier for people to find their way around their communities, to access local facilities that they know and where they are known, and to maintain their social networks so they feel that they still belong.
The dementia-friendly community concept started in Great Britain and has spread internationally. Minnesota and Wisconsin have developed programs; Kenosha County is home to several dementia-friendly establishments. Last year, the idea spread nationally, with Dementia Friendly America taking the lead in the U.S.
To become involved in Dementia-Friendly Grayslake, contact Mike Steiner at Right at Home. If you are interested in helping to develop other dementia-friendly communities in Lake County, please contact Chris Damon at CareSmart.