Dementia Friends Pennsylvania to Expand Programs
Dementia Friends Pennsylvania is pleased to announce a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Aging to improve and expand access to ongoing programs, which will raise awareness about dementia and decrease stigma surrounding dementia. The grant will support Dementia Friends Pennsylvania with up to $90,000 through June 2021.
The grant will provide Dementia Friends Pennsylvania the means to continue delivering its information sessions and champion trainings across the Commonwealth. As a first step, regional sessions for the Area Agencies on Aging staff will be scheduled. Dementia Friends Pennsylvania will continue working on adaptations of current curriculum content for improved virtual experiences, which have included over 230 new friends since the program went virtual in March. Dementia Friends Pennsylvania will also expand linguistic access to Information sessions, champion trainings, and resource materials for Pennsylvanians. The program will work with the PA Department of Aging, the Alzheimer's State Plan Task Force, and vetted interpreters to update translations to include the languages most commonly spoken in Pennsylvania.
Dementia Friends Pennsylvania is run by two senior quality improvement specialists at the Jewish Healthcare Foundation, Stacie Bonenberger, MOT, OTR/L and Anneliese Perry, MS, NHA, CECM. As part of this grant, they will be offering educational workshops for communities interested in starting a Dementia Friendly Community Initiative. They will virtually connect with communities to provide education and brainstorming activities as part of the initial steps.Previous communities they have consulted with include Bloomsburg, Greene County, and State College.
Since its inception in May of 2018, Dementia Friends Pennsylvania has worked closely with several communities across Pennsylvania to launch Dementia Friendly Community Initiatives. A Dementia Friendly Community is a community that comes together to foster meaningful access to support and engagement in community life for people living with dementia and their family and friend care partners. Communities across Pennsylvania, like Dementia Friendly Greater Pittsburgh and Dementia Friendly Adams/York Counties, utilize the Dementia Friends curriculum as the vehicle through which community members gain the increased knowledge and awareness necessary to decrease stigma among all community members, to better support those living with dementia.
Most recently, Dementia Friendly Lehigh Valley and Dementia Friendly Newtown each hosted virtual Information Sessions and Champion Trainings. Lehigh Valley brought 60 new friends and 12 new champions, and Newtown made 27 new friends and 6 new champions.
Dementia Friends Pennsylvania has made over 4,200 friends since its start and will continue to host weekly open virtual sessions for new dementia friends and champions. If you are interested in learning more, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website www.dementiafriendspa.org.