Parker: Creating dementia-friendly communities


Dementia is a progressive neurological disorder characterized by a decline in cognitive abilities, memory loss, and changes in behavior.

The cognitive decline and memory loss experienced by individuals with dementia can lead to confusion, frustration, and difficulty in performing everyday tasks. This can result in social isolation and withdrawal from community activities, as individuals with dementia may feel overwhelmed or embarrassed by their symptoms.

In an increasingly aging population, the importance of creating dementia-friendly communities cannot be overstated. A dementia-friendly community — like the one at Parker Jewish Institute, in New Hyde Park at the Queens-Nassau border — promotes a sense of belonging, reduces social isolation, and enables individuals with dementia to participate in community activities with confidence.

For individuals with dementia, a dementia-friendly community provides a sense of belonging and support, which can greatly improve their overall well-being.

Some of the key benefits include:

1. Reduced social isolation: Individuals with dementia often face social isolation due to the stigma and misunderstanding surrounding their condition. In dementia-friendly communities, individuals with dementia can feel more connected, supported, and included in community activities.

2. Enhanced quality of life: By providing support and understanding, dementia-friendly communities can help individuals with dementia to maintain their independence, engage in meaningful activities, and enjoy a sense of purpose and fulfillment.

3. Empowerment and independence: Dementia-friendly communities empower individuals with dementia to make choices and decisions about their lives.

4. Reduced caregiver burden: Dementia-friendly communities not only support individuals with dementia but also their caregivers, with resources, education and support.

Here are some key resources for individuals and organizations interested in creating dementia-friendly communities:

1. Parker’s Willing Hearts, Helpful Hand Program provides a wealth of resources, information, and support for individuals with dementia and their caregivers. They offer educational materials, support groups, and access to local resources.

2. Dementia-friendly community networks connect individuals, organizations and businesses interested in creating dementia-friendly communities.

3. Dementia-friendly training programs provide education and training on creating dementia-friendly environments. These programs offer insights into dementia, communication strategies, and practical tips for creating inclusive spaces.

4. Community organizations such as senior centers and  healthcare providers offer resources, support and programs for individuals with dementia and their caregivers.

By utilizing these resources and seeking support, individuals and organizations can gain valuable insights, guidance, and practical tips for creating dementia-friendly communities. The journey towards creating a dementia-friendly community can be challenging, but with the right support and resources, it is a journey that can transform lives and communities.

As the global population ages, the importance of dementia-friendly communities becomes increasingly evident. By creating spaces and services that are inclusive and accommodating to individuals with dementia, communities can empower them to live their lives to the fullest. Dementia-friendly communities promote awareness, understanding, and compassion, and strive to eliminate the stigma associated with dementia.

Creating dementia-friendly communities offers numerous benefits for individuals with dementia, their families, and society as a whole. These communities enhance the well-being and quality of life for individuals with dementia, reduce social isolation, and provide support and resources for their caregivers. Furthermore, dementia-friendly communities foster awareness, understanding, and acceptance of dementia, leading to a more compassionate and inclusive society.

Through education, collaboration, and the implementation of dementia-friendly practices, Parker’s Willing Hearts, Helpful Hands Program is helping communities create environments that are respectful, supportive, and empowering for individuals with dementia. By engaging community members, and utilizing available resources and support, we are helping communities build a future that is inclusive, supportive, and compassionate for people living with dementia.

Creating dementia-friendly communities is not just a responsibility, but an opportunity to make a positive difference in the lives of individuals with dementia and their families. Together, we can build a better future for individuals with dementia.

For learn more, call Parker at 516-586-1507 or 631-617-2864.