Dementia Friends Advances Activities Across Pennsylvania

Dementia Friends Pennsylvania enjoyed making new Friends during a virtual session hosted by Senator Mensch.

Dementia Friends Pennsylvania was included in the commonwealth's 2020-2024 State Plan on Aging, which The Pennsylvania Department of Aging (PDA) creates every four years to provide a vision and direction for Pennsylvania's network of aging services. The plan, effective on October 1, 2020, contains five state plan goals designed to address all that the department has or will undertake to improve aging services in Pennsylvania. This includes partnering with Dementia Friends Pennsylvania to "spread the movement to every county in the commonwealth."

On October 29, the Dementia Friends Pennsylvania team held an Information Session for State Senator Bob Mensch and community members of Berks, Bucks, and Montgomery Counties. Through this session, Dementia Friends made 30 new Friends. The session was led by two members of the Jewish Healthcare Foundation Senior Connections staff, Dementia Friends Pennsylvania statewide coordinators and master trainers Stacie Bonenberger, MOT, OTR/L and Anneliese Perry, MS, NHA, CECM.

Dementia Friends Pennsylvania also attended the 2020 Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders (ADRD) Forum held on November 5, where their information was shared with over 250 stakeholders from across the commonwealth. This year's forum directed attention to addressing racial disparities in risk of Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. Dementia Friends will continue to work closely with the PDA to raise awareness and change the way people think, act, and talk about dementia.

JHF serves as the state coordinator and holds the sub-license for Dementia Friends Pennsylvania. An outreach of Dementia Friendly America, this initiative seeks to educate communities across the state about dementia, break down the stigma surrounding dementia, and encourage individuals to implement practical changes to best support people living with dementia and those around them to live well in their communities.

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