Dementia Care Specialist

What is a Dementia Care Specialist?

The Dementia Care Specialist (DCS) is a person employed by the Aging & Disability Resource Center (ADRC) who is responsible for assisting individuals and families living with dementia to continue to be active in their community and remain in their homes for as long as they are able.  The DCS also ensures the ADRC staff are knowledgeable about dementia and are prepared to meet the needs of the people they serve in a supportive, helpful manner.

Dementia Friendly Communities

A Dementia Friendly Community is one in which local businesses, organizations, churches and community groups make simple changes that help a person with dementia feel welcome and safe.  The Dementia Friendly Community Project can provide a no-cost, 30 minute training about dementia and how to better serve those living with dementia.  Businesses and service organizations may also receive a free environmental assessment with recommendations (e.g. signage, lighting).  Organizations that participate, train at least 50% of their staff/members and score well in the environmental assessment will receive a purple angel decal signifying them as dementia friendly.

We Can Help

  • Complete memory screens for those individuals who question whether they are having memory issues and offer options of follow-up to consider.
  • Individuals and their families plan for their future by providing information on what to expect, decisions they may want to consider in advance and resources available to support individuals living with these changes.
  • Local businesses interested in learning how to best serve customers and employees who are experiencing memory loss in themselves or loved ones.
  • Provide education to local service and civic groups about the impact of dementia and how they can support and assist their family, friends, and neighbors.

Memory Cafés/Support Groups

Memory Cafes – A social gathering for individuals with early stage dementia, Alzheimer’s, or memory loss and their family and friends.  Support Groups – A gathering of family, friends, and neighbors who are caring for a person with chronic illness or disability-such as dementia-to learn creative problem-solving techniques, share tips, ask questions, and find out about resources available.

Who should contact the Dementia Care Specialist?

  • Anyone who is experiencing changes in their memory, thinking or communication abilities or providing support and assistance to someone who is experiencing these changes.
  • Caregivers who are overwhelmed with the prospect caring for their loved ones.
  • People with early memory loss interested in being proactive to remain as healthy and independent as possible and engaged in meaningful activities.
  • Volunteers who are interested in helping the community become dementia friendly or working one-on-one with individuals experiencing cognitive changes.
  • Businesses that would like to improve customer service skills when interacting and communicating with someone with dementia.

Dementia Live®

The Dementia Live™ experience gives participants an idea of what it is like to have dementia. This is done by altering their senses and providing them with tasks to do in a controlled setting.  In just 15 minutes participants gain greater awareness and understanding of the daily struggles affecting persons with dementia.

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