Coming together: Dementia Friends raise awareness and fight stigma

Terry Price

Hello, Robson Ranch friends and neighbors. We are in Washington state for the summer and receive the Washington editions of AARP publications. This month, there was an interesting article that we should all be aware of. It is about the Dementia Friends program, an international effort that educates people and raises awareness about dementia. It was organized by The Dementia Action Collaborative (DAC). Once a person is diagnosed, they are really isolated from society. Dementia Friends hopes to change people’s behavior by knowing how to interact with and talk to those with dementia. Dementia is a disease that is not yet preventable and people need to be treated with kindness. It can happen to anyone!

The Alzheimer’s Association, Desert Southwest office, located in Phoenix, has a very caring staff and offers information and support group meetings. They are a terrific organization that offers the same help as above.

The Alzheimer’s Association’s Special Events Coordinator Pam Eisenberg (who can be reached at 602-528-0545) is instrumental in making our Robson Ranch Walk to End Alzheimer’s, scheduled for Nov. 16, a great success, with a growth of participants and money raised to help with Alzheimer’s research. Research is vitally important as changes in the brain typical of Alzheimer’s can occur 20 to 25 years before symptoms appear. A lot of the research involves studying people at these earlier stages. Pam can help you connect to the right staff member for the information you are seeking.