Dementia – Steering into the Skid Event

A dementia friendly community is one that cares about its neighbors; one that listens to the feelings of its residents with dementia; one that sees the signs; one that understands the needs; and one that acts.

It’s a place where people with dementia will live as independently as possible. Where they will be valued and respected. Where they will engage in activities that we all take for granted and will be supported as these activities become more difficult. Where the changes in the person will be noticed, understood, and accepted.

A dementia friendly community is one that has looked at its shops, restaurants, markets, and streets through the eyes of a person with dementia, then does everything it can to make it a place where they can continue to live as independently as possible. When memory changes begin, many become more isolated, which frequently hastens the cognitive decline. A community that understands dementia will be one that supports and cares for its neighbors who are struggling to deal with loss of memories, loss of the ability to do routine activities, loss of jobs, loss of independence, and loss of self.

The ADRC of Eagle Country’s Richland Center office continues towards this goal through offering a wide variety of programs which are aimed and creating awareness about Dementia. In December the ADRC hosted a one act play called “Steering into the Skid.” This play depicted the 12 month journey for a couple dealing with Dementia. The audience was able to see firsthand the affects that this devastating disease has on not only the person with Dementia, but also the caregiver.

Following the play there was a facilitated community conversation about Dementia.  One comment that was made is that when a person and their family are dealing with this disease “their world seems to get smaller and smaller.” The hope is that people that attended will see that it is important to stay involved in their community and to reach out for help.

 

Hopefully this event has people thinking about new ways to help give others opportunities and experiences to enjoy life. Getting an early diagnosis and treatment can help people feel prepared and to be able to live life to the fullest.

The ADRC would like to thank the Richland Center Community Center, the UW Richland Campus kitchen, and The Remember Project from Minneapolis for helping make this event a great success.

 

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