Dementia Friends

Dementia Friends

Contact Margie Solomon, Volunteer Engagement Specialist, (651) 690-8907.

In 2010 the State of MN passed legislation requiring the state to prepare for the huge impact Alzheimer’s disease will have on our population and our resources over the next few decades. One of the five areas the state identified as needing attention is helping communities become dementia capable.

The state chose five pilot communities for this program: four geographic communities (including St. Paul), and one religious/cultural community, which is the Twin Cities Jewish community. Their goal is to increase awareness, reduce stigma around Alzheimer’s disease, and reach as many people as possible. The Twin Cities Jewish Community Alzheimer Task Force, a joint effort between JFS and JFCS of Minneapolis, was asked to help with this goal.

Since the program began in 2015, the Task Force has trained more than 30 dementia-friendly communities throughout the state. Trainings have been conducted at a variety of locations including Christian and Jewish congregations, law and accounting practices, public libraries, and businesses. Since January 2017 alone, 513 dementia friends have been trained.

The Dementia Friends training program is a 60 to 90-minute educational session designed for any community organization, business, religious institution or other community setting. The program focuses on understanding dementia and acting to create an environment that is safe, respectful, and welcoming for people living with dementia.

Dementia Friends learning objectives include:

  • Learn what dementia is and some facts about Alzheimer’s.
  • Recognize the signs of dementia.
  • Learn tips for communicating and interacting with a person who has dementia.
  • ​Become familiar with dementia-related resources and services in your community.

Dementia Friends training helps organizations heighten their constituents’ awareness of dementia and equips them to respond warmly and effectively when serving people living with dementia and their care partners. Call to schedule a training free training session.