Dementia Friendly Reviews Start Up and Shares 3rd-Year Plan with Legislators

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Dementia Friendly Reviews Start Up and Shares 3rd-Year Plan with Legislators

Three arms of outreach comprise the first two years of the Sheridan-based program known as Dementia Friendly Wyoming, a service of the Hub on Smith. At the legislative forum this week, Kay Wallick, Director, named these arms as: 1] outreach to persons living with dementia; 2] support for care partners of persons living with dementia; and 3] education of the community about persons living with dementia.

During these first two years, says Wallick, educating the community began with small and then larger businesses, then moved to the local financial and banking community, to first responders, to the legal community, to churches, to health care providers, and most recently, to the Sheridan College Nursing Program.

Signs of Dementia Friendly training are now visible around town, says Wallick, as businesses and agencies display special Dementia Friendly slogans and stickers on their entry doors.

Individually, a group of community members known in the program as ‘friendly connectors’ were are also trained; and education, says Wallick, quickly led to referrals for help . . . “30 cases in the last six months.”

Efforts to support the safe autonomy of persons living with dementia mobilized volunteers and resources in the Sheridan area, helped to shape and to define what Wallick calls a ‘circle of care’. This support, Wallick told legislators, is critical to helping them live in their homes as long as possible.

Separately, “tools and support for caregivers”, says Wallic, was a critical need taken up by Dementia Care Educator Heather Comstock.:

Care partners of persons who have learned of a dementia diagnosis can also benefit from ‘SHARE’, says Wallick, a process that helps caretakers support with integrity:

Having described for legislators the initiative’s first two years of progress, Wallick named two primary goals for their third year . . . sustainability and “keeping a promise” to share the program throughout Wyoming:

Wallick told Sheridan Media that in the next six months they hope to put together a budget and a plan for acquiring various streams of funding:

Follow for more on this week’s legislative forum.

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