Dementia Friendly Education Launched for Banks

First Interstate Bank's branches in Sheridan and Buffalo have become the first local banks to be designated “Dementia Friendly,” thanks to an educational program developed specifically for bank employees.

The banks' management and staff recently completed training in the program, which was created in a partnership between First Interstate in Sheridan and Dementia Friendly Wyoming, a program of The Hub on Smith.

According to a news release from The Hub, Dementia Friendly Wyoming will be working with First Insterstate and other local banks to develop consistent, simple guidelines for the banking industry as they assist persons living with dementia.

The aim of the education program is to help people living with dementia plan, access financial services and get help to remain independent for as long as possible.

Kay Wallick, program director for Dementia Friendly Wyoming, said one of the biggest issues faced by those living with dementia is dealing with financial challenges. And, according to the news release, difficulty managing finances can be an early sign of dementia.

Wallick said the goal of the training is to help bank staff be aware of the signs of dementia related to money management and signs of financial harm, learn dementia friendly communications skills and help people connect to support and services in the community.

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