JHF Establishes Dementia Friendly Pennsylvania Initiative

On September 21,  World Alzheimer's Day, the Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF) announced the establishment of Dementia Friendly Pennsylvania, a new initiative aimed at supporting Pennsylvanians living with dementia. Pennsylvania has joined the growing coalition of dementia-friendly communities across the U.S. by joining the Dementia Friendly America network. 

Dementia Friendly Pennsylvania is a collaborative effort with Dementia Friends Pennsylvania, a program of JHF, eight existing dementia- friendly Pennsylvania communities, and supported by the Pennsylvania Department of Aging. This initiative works to ensure communities across the country are equipped to support people living with dementia and their care providers.

"As Pennsylvania's older adult population continues to grow, we are seeing the incidence of lives impacted by Alzheimer's Disease and other dementias also increase. Dementia Friendly Pennsylvania will help raise awareness and increase understanding in our communities so people affected by the disease can be supported and enabled to live their best quality of life," said Secretary of Aging Robert Torres. "The Department of Aging is proud to partner in this effort to create positive environments and outcomes for older adults living with dementia."

More than 400,000 people in Pennsylvania are living with dementia. For every person diagnosed with dementia there are at least 3-4 people, which may include family, friends, and colleagues, whose lives are profoundly affected.

Dementia Friendly Pennsylvania will focus on encouraging the creation of dementia-friendly communities across the Commonwealth. A dementia friendly community is one that is informed, safe, and respectful of people living with dementia and their families. Communities take action by leveraging tailored resources for businesses, faith communities, health care communities, first responders, legal and financial services, libraries, and multiple other community sectors. Additional goals include development of a website with statewide resources designed for people living with dementia, care partners, and professionals, raise awareness about dementia and transform attitudes, and promote meaningful participation in community life. 

To learn more about Dementia Friendly Pennsylvania or become involved in the initiative, please email info@dementiafriendlypa.org or learn more on our Facebook page.

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