A Dementia-Friendly Community?
“People with dementia are a part of, not apart from, our community” the man in the purple shirt and tie told Saline Mayor Brian Marl and the City Council on 1 July. The speaker, Jim Mangi, was describing a free program, “Envisioning a Dementia Friendly Community”, to be presented from 7-8:30 PM, 17 July at Holy Faith Church (6299 Ann Arbor Saline Rd). “It’s frustrating to get instructions you can’t remember long enough to follow,” Mangi continued, “or to have people get impatient with you at the store. For people with dementia, it’s a daily challenge to live in a typical community-- as most do.” A slide Mangi displayed said that 80% of persons with dementia live with their families, or home alone. He also described one city’s experience in which an ambulance crew further injured a person with dementia when they ignored her delusion that she had small children she needed to protect and the crew tried to overpower her onto the gurney, causing a second fall.
“This is important” said Mayor Brian Marl, “we should explore the idea of Saline being a ‘dementia friendly community’. I plan to attend the program on the 17th.”
Showing a slide listing a sample of cities nationwide, from Detroit-sized to Saline-sized, Mangi explained that the free presentation would discuss what these and other “Dementia-Friendly” communities are doing. “Purple Angels help first responders save lives in Florida; diners reserve Purple Tables in Massachusetts. There are dementia-aware ninth graders in Alabama and dementia friendly libraries in Indiana. There are dementia-friendly movie theatres, choruses, golf courses, churches. Hear about the benefits such communities have realized, and what it might take to develop one here.”
Mangi invited the Council and the public to the free presentation, telling them there would also be free literature from government and non-profit sources about various aspects of dementia. For further information see holy-faith-church.org or contact the church at 734-429-2991 or [email protected]. “Holy Faith has abundant parking, no steps, wide doors, and cookies. All are welcome; we’re in this together.”