We Are Dementia Friendly Ashland

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Ashland is officially designated as a Dementia-Friendly Community. As recipients of grants from Bay Path Elder Services, the Ashland Select Board and funding provided in the State budget through the efforts of Senate President Karen Spilka, a Dementia-Friendly Action Committee has been working on making our community a supportive environment for both residents living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, as well as their caregivers. The Committee consists of members from local government including Elder Services, Public Safety, Community Services and members with healthcare expertise.

A Dementia-Friendly Community creates an informed, safe and respectful community for people with dementia and includes:

1) Raising awareness about dementia, transforming attitudes and moving people to action
2) Providing supportive options that foster quality for residents touched by the disease and their caregivers and families
3) Engaging and including residents from diverse communities

When residents with dementia visit a business, a service organization or a Town department, they may require extra assistance. Much of the work in becoming Dementia-Friendly is predicated on awareness of the disease and educating and training Town staff and the Ashland business community. Understanding how to connect and communicate is an important component to creating a welcoming and supportive environment, whether in Town Hall, a restaurant or a bank. As part of our action plan, the Committee will be supporting education and training for Town staff and the Ashland business community. Other programs will include

1) A Memory Cafe to provide those living with memory loss and their caregivers a supportive environment to meet others and enjoy refreshments and entertainment
2) Supported by our restaurant partners, The Purple Table Reservations program that will allow for a relaxing and comfortable dining experience
3) A Public Safety Registry that will allow our Fire and Police Departments to provide the best assistance to residents living with dementia and their caregivers

Our role as public officials includes enhancing and supporting a positive quality of life for all residents regardless of age and health status, in a livable community that is accessible to all. As our mission states: “Ashland strives to be Dementia-Friendly. By creating a well-informed, safe, respectful community for those “living with” dementia. Increase awareness, education and understanding by offering supportive options for those living with dementia, their caregiver and families.”

We Are Dementia-Friendly Ashland!