Dementia Friendly Pennsylvania is a collaborative effort with Dementia Friends Pennsylvania, a program of the Jewish Healthcare Foundation, existing dementia-friendly Pennsylvania communities, and supported by the Pennsylvania Department of Aging. More than 400,000 people in Pennsylvania are living with dementia. For every person diagnosed with dementia there are at least three to four people, which may include family, friends, and colleagues, whose lives are profoundly affected. This initiative works to ensure communities across the state are equipped to support people living with dementia and their care partners.
Dementia is not a specific disease. It is an umbrella term that describes a wide range of symptoms such as changes in memory, thinking, problem solving skills, communication, and perception, severe enough to interfere with daily life. Dementia can also impact relationships and emotions. Dementia is not just about having memory problems.
Everyone’s experience of living with dementia is unique. There are many different types of dementia and symptoms may present differently in different people. It is important to understand dementia does not define a person.
Dementia Friendly Pennsylvania promotes collaborative partnerships that raise awareness, increase knowledge, reduce stigma and engage community members in transforming Pennsylvania into an inclusive place for persons living with dementia.
- Curate and maintain resources to support:
• Persons living with dementia
• Care partners
• Community members
- Increase access to community life and meaningful engagement through dementia-friendly services and supports in communities.
- Provide education to broaden awareness and recognition of the signs of dementia and how to communicate with people living with dementia.
• Dementia Friends Pennsylvania Information Sessions
• Statewide dementia friendly webinars
• Calendar of events
- Provide guidance and support for communities interested in joining the Dementia Friendly America Network.
- Develop and support a network of collaborative dementia friendly communities within Pennsylvania who share common goal of supporting people living with dementia.
The Community Advisory Committee (CAC) members champion the vision of Dementia Friendly Pennsylvania by sharing their expertise, experiences, and diverse knowledge. CAC members promote dementia friendly communities in Pennsylvania, provide resources, connections, and identify areas of opportunity to better support people living with dementia across the commonwealth. Convening on a quarterly basis virtually, the CAC is made up of key stakeholders, leaders, people living with dementia, family members, care partners, and community members who represent various community sectors and diverse and underserved populations in Pennsylvania. If you are interested in joining the CAC or want to learn more about how you can get involved, please contact Dementia Friendly Pennsylvania
Every part of a community plays a role in creating a dementia friendly culture. Dementia Friendly Pennsylvania’s statewide Community Advisory Committee represent a diversity of sectors including legal services, architecture, libraries, healthcare, and more.
Our Advisory Committee members share how their professional and personal experiences have shown them the value and need for creating a Dementia Friendly Pennsylvania.