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#LetsTalkAboutDementia: World Alzheimer’s Month

September is World Alzheimer's Month, an international campaign to raise dementia awareness and challenge stigma associated with the disease. The impact of this campaign is growing, but the stigma and misinformation surrounding dementia remain a global issue. A coordinated global voice on dementia ensures that this action is taken to advance awareness, care and science all year round.

Nearly six million people in the United States are living with Alzheimer's disease, the most common form of dementia. Eighty percent of people living with dementia live at home or with family. Additionally, there are more than 16 million caregivers of people living with dementia. These figures point to why dementia-friendly communities are so important! Dementia-friendly communities help ensure that people living with dementia and their caregivers can live with dignity, safety and social connectedness in their homes and communities.
 
Led by the Dementia Friendly America (DFA) Initiative, communities across the county are taking action to become dementia friendly by leveraging resources and partners across community sectors. Each part in the community has a unique role to play in contributing toward dementia friendliness including business; community-based services and supports; faith communities; health care; legal and financial services; government services and planning; and residential settings.
 
Through the work of 35 national, leading organizations and co-chaired and administered by n4a, DFA is catalyzing a movement to more effectively support and serve those who are living with dementia and their care partners. To see a list of current dementia friendly community initiatives, visit the DFA website. There you will also find more information about the key steps your community can take to become more dementia friendly.
 
Join the Movement! Become a Dementia Friend.
 
In addition to supporting the development of dementia-friendly communities, DFA operates Dementia Friends USA, which is part of a global movement developed by the Alzheimer's Society in the United Kingdom. The goal of Dementia Friends is to help everyone in a community understand what dementia is, how it affects people and how everyone can make a difference for people touched by dementia. There are more than 85,000 Dementia Friends across the country.
 
Becoming a Dementia Friend is quick and easy. In fact, individuals can become a Dementia Friend online. Help us reach our goal of 100,000 Dementia Friends! From telling friends about the Dementia Friends program to visiting someone who is living with dementia, every action counts. Check out dementiafriendsusa.org to learn how your agency can get involved. Better yet, make it a challenge to have all of your staff become Dementia Friends.
 
Responding to COVID-19
 
Ensuring people living with dementia can live well at home and in their communities is important as ever as our nation addresses the coronavirus pandemic. During lockdown, it's essential that older people, especially those living with dementia, are not socially excluded and have access to supports.
 
DFA collaborated with the Alzheimer's Association to develop emergency preparedness guidelines for delivering high-quality care for people living with Alzheimer's and dementia in long-term and community-based care settings during the pandemic.

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