Fairfax Receives Official “Dementia Friendly Community” Designation
August 28, 2019
Our Dementia Friendly Fairfax (DFFairfax) team is excited to announce the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging have officially welcomed Fairfax to the nation-wide network of Dementia Friendly Communities!
The Dementia Friendly Fairfax initiative is spearheaded in partnership by Goodwin House Bailey’s Crossroads and Insight Memory Care Center. The Fairfax Area Commission on Aging and Fairfax Area Agency on Aging support Dementia Friendly Fairfax. The Commission on Aging has proposed that the Dementia Friendly Fairfax initiative be included in the Fairfax 50+ Plan.
What is a Dementia Friendly Community?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are currently around 50 million people living with dementia in the United States, with this number expected to increase to 80 million by 2030 and a staggering 152 million by 2050. Dementia is a community issue that must be addressed at a community level. A dementia friendly community is informed, safe and respectful of individuals with dementia and their families, provides supportive options cross community sectors and fosters quality of life. Every part of the community has a unique role in fostering meaningful access to and engagement in community life for people living with dementia and their family and friend care partners.
What is Dementia Friendly America?
Dementia Friendly America (DFA) is a multi-sector, national, regional, state and local collaboration seeking to advance dementia friendly communities across the United States. DFA fosters local community transformation using tools, resources and technical assistance designed to equip communities to better support people living with dementia and their care partners. The Dementia Friendly America movement began in September 2015 following the White House Conference on Aging and is based upon Minnesota’s statewide successful initiative, ACT on Alzheimer’s. Led by DFA, communities across the nation are taking action and becoming dementia friendly by leveraging tailored resources and tools for community sectors. There are more than 200 communities across 40 states in the process of becoming dementia friendly.
Dementia Friendly Fairfax
The Dementia Friendly Fairfax action team consists of multiple sectors including representatives from local residential care services and community services, community volunteer ambassadors, commissioners appointed by elected officials to represent the aging population, and community members. Their initial efforts will be focused on providing training to the neighborhood villages, local libraries, and the community volunteer ambassadors who work with aging adults, as they see these sectors and resources as high impact areas.
The action team will work to include members from each magisterial district within Fairfax and the cities of Fairfax and Falls Church in order to have input and representation from all areas of Fairfax, and will include those living with dementia and their caregivers in the initiative. The Dementia Friendly Fairfax team sees this initiative as a great opportunity to increase awareness and knowledge of dementia, support those with dementia and their caregivers, and work toward becoming a dementia friendly community.
To get involved or learn more, please contact Ruth Reagan Feel free to pass along our contact information to those who may also want to get involved!
We would like to thank Goodwin House Bailey’s Crossroads for supporting this important initiative, our dedicated action team members for their hard work, and the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (N4A) as well as LeadingAge Virginia for all of their support. We are eager to start our work within Fairfax to educate members of the community in order to create a safe and respectful environment for those living with dementia and their caregivers.