Dementia Friends Reaches a Cool Thousand, Expands Reach Across State

The Dementia Friends session at Jewish Family and Community Services.

Dementia Friends Pennsylvania, a program of the Jewish Healthcare Foundation, reached a milestone last month. With its April 24 session at the Sewickley Public Library, more than 1,000 people have participated in a Dementia Friends Information Session since the program launched in July 2018.

"We are over the moon with the success we have had over the past few months," said Stacie Bonenberger, MOT, OTR/L, who co-coordinates the program with fellow JHF Senior Connections staff member Anneliese Perry, MS, NHA, CECM."As part of our statewide reach, we created over 50 champions in Adams and York counties. During April, one of our newest Champions was able to make over 85 new Dementia Friends in the youth and teen sectors. "

Continuing its work within the family of Jewish organizations in Pittsburgh, Dementia Friends held a session for the senior care team at Jewish Family and Community Services on April 23. "Some caregivers have said that this was one of the best trainings that they have experienced," said Linda Geistman, administrator for JFCS's Caregiver Connection. "All of them felt that it was relevant to what they encounter on a daily basis with their clients."

As noted in last month's Window, Dementia Friends received a $25,000 grant from the Jefferson Regional Foundation Board of Directors for work in the South Hills.

If you are interested in learning more about the initiative, please contact Anneliese or Stacie at

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