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April 14, 2023

Dementia Friendly: Memory Loss Community in Lehigh Valley

By: Country Meadows | Memory Care

Co-workers at Country Meadows of Allentown are committed to helping the Lehigh Valley become a more dementia friendly area for individuals in the memory loss community. In fact, several co-workers have become “champions.”

As the population ages, and the number of people living with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias rises dramatically, communities are embracing the dementia friendly concept. Dementia friendly is a global movement with the goal to change the way people think, act and talk about dementia. A dementia friendly community is a geographic area where people in the memory loss community are understood, respected and supported.

Co-workers in the memory loss community become champions by completing a training program to learn strategies to reduce stigmas associated with the memory loss community. Champions are empowered to reach out and share this information with others in the broader community.

According to Martie Haller, Country Meadows Marketing Director and dementia friendly champion, “The concept of dementia friendly is to spread awareness. Just like there are groups who spread awareness about other illnesses, it is important that we raise awareness for our friends living with dementia to help others understand and support them. In other words, we want to help make life better for folks living with dementia.”

The dementia friendly concept has two objectives: First, to reduce stigma and promote awareness and second, to empower people living with dementia to make decisions about their own lives and care.

Country Meadows Retirement Communities is a proud member of Dementia Friendly Lehigh Valley. Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley is one of thousands of areas across the country recognized as part of the national Dementia Friendly America initiative to become more accessible to and supportive of individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias as well as their caregivers.

According to Dementia Friendly America, every community member works together to create a dementia friendly culture for members of the memory loss community.

  • Law enforcement officers and first responders recognize the signs of dementia and respond appropriately. Country Meadows provides training to help these valuable community partners recognize the signs of dementia when responding to calls and shares tips to aid them in experiencing successful interactions with individuals in the memory loss community.
  • Healthcare providers stress early diagnosis and connect individuals with the appropriate community services as well as other members of the memory loss community.
  • Employers support co-workers who are caregivers by offering proactive personnel policies.
  • Local government agencies plan and implement transportation, public spaces and emergency response that enable people with dementia and their caregivers to thrive.

Haller plans to host dementia friendly based events for various community groups at Country Meadows of Allentown to share insights into the memory loss community to remove stigma and encourage developing relationships.

Haller concludes, “As champions for the memory loss community, we are proud to partner with Dementia Friendly Lehigh Valley to make the Lehigh Valley a more dementia friendly community, one business and one act of kindness at a time.”

Country Meadows has nine locations in Pennsylvania and one campus in Frederick, Maryland. If you or a loved one are beginning the retirement planning journey and would like more information about our communities, please contact us today. We’re here to help.


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