Dementia Friendly Tucson is a newly formed nonprofit organization that hopes to create a version of dementia villages available for the growing population of memory care patients, their families, caregivers, and providers. Dementia Friendly Tucson’s founder is Kim Shea, PHD, RN, CHPN who has worked in various roles within the hospice field, eventually opening a hospice care facility in Green Valley, AZ for families who live closer to the border. She explains that in other countries, dementia villages are working better than expected with stores, restaurants, movie theaters, hair salons, barbers, anything that a resident could want. Most importantly, the village is “mentally-free” so that residents with neurocognitive disorders can operate and live as they normally do in their current state. That’s because everyone who works in the village is trained and aware of how to help people with dementia.
Dementia Friendly Tucson proposes to train local Tucson businesses. Imagine a block of hospitable businesses in downtown Tucson willing to support a day trip for those who have neurocognitive disabilities like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s, and dementia. They have already spoken with many downtown Tucson businesses that would be willing to train employees and be open for a few hours, perhaps one day a week. During that set time, dementia patients, their caregivers and families can visit that area of town. They can go shopping, get a haircut, or have a meal together within a community of dementia knowledgable businesses who have trained staff to help.
Dementia Friendly Tucson is interested in learning from you and the memory care community at-large: how can we make dementia villages a reality in Tucson.
- if you’re a local business and would like to provide dementia friendly training to your employees and would like to participate in our next dementia friendly event,
- would like to participate as a volunteer,
- become a board member,
- or have feedback, information, ideas, or connections
Contact Dementia Friendly Tucson on their website: https://dementiafriendlytucson.org/