What is a dementia-friendly community?
A dementia-friendly community is one that provides a safe, respectful, and supportive environment for people living with dementia and for their caregivers. It can refer to a region, a city, or even a neighborhood, that embraces people with dementia and empowers them to live with dignity. A community reaches dementia-friendly status by educating individuals, involving businesses, advocating with legislators, and thoughtfully planning infrastructure to create a dementia-friendly environment. They also must apply to Dementia Friendly America to be formally approved to call themselves a dementia-friendly community.
How can I get help or get involved?
Dementia-Friendly Lehigh Valley is an ongoing community effort, and there are many ways to help us grow. You can join a working committee and be a part of planning and action at the ground level. Learn more about membership here. If you run a business, you can take steps to make your business more dementia-friendly—start here to learn more. If you know someone who would benefit from using our resources, pass the word along. Put them in touch with us or refer them to our website for more information.
How can my business be part of this initiative?
As a business owner or organization, you are one of the most powerful tools for creating a dementia-friendly community. Sign up to be a Dementia Friend or become a sponsoring organization to support the ongoing work of the Lehigh Valley Dementia-Friendly Coalition.
I have a family member with dementia. What resources are available to me?
If you are a caregiver or simply a loved one of someone with dementia, you are not alone. We invite you to use the resources listed on our website to learn about dementia and discover services that can help. You can also contact us with specific questions so we can help you find the right resource.
How do I learn more about dementia?
The Alzheimer’s Association offers comprehensive and accessible information on dementia, including symptoms, treatments, causes, prognosis, and care.
What is the difference between dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease?
Often used interchangeably, “dementia” and “Alzheimer’s Disease” are not the same thing. Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a decline in mental ability severe enough to impact daily life. Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders (ADRD) are causes of dementia. Alzheimer’s is a disease; dementia is not. Other types of dementia include Lewy Body Dementia, Huntingdon’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease Dementia, and Vascular Dementia. Learn more at the Alzheimer’s Association.
When did Dementia-Friendly Lehigh Valley begin?
The Dementia-Friendly Coalition began life as a committee convened by the Phoebe Center for Excellence in Dementia Care and the Phoebe Institute on Aging in 2013. In 2018, Phoebe Ministries provided funding for a series of forums to engage community stakeholders, and shortly after, the Coalition was transferred to the auspices of the United Way as a collective impact effort under the Age-Friendly Lehigh Valley Coalition. In January 2023, Dementia Friendly Lehigh Valley moved to its new home with Humanitarian Social Innovations.