HCN News & Notes

Loomis Communities to Host Three ‘Dementia Friends’ Events

SOUTH HADLEY — The Loomis Communities will host an educational series in February that is part of a global movement to change the way people think, act, and talk about dementia, titled “Dementia Friends.”

The retirement community will host a program at each of its three campuses: Friday, Feb. 7 at 2 p.m. at Loomis Village in South Hadley; Wednesday, Feb. 12 at 3:30 p.m. at Applewood in Amherst; and Monday, Feb. 17 at 2 p.m. at Loomis Lakeside at Reeds Landing in Springfield.

Dementia Friends is an hour-long program developed by the Alzheimer’s Society in the United Kingdom. Attendees will learn five key messages about dementia and what it’s like to live with memory loss. The programs will be led by Carol Constant, director of Community Engagement for the Loomis Communities, and Rachel Tierney, a Loomis Village resident.

As a Dementia Friend, individuals will be able to turn their new understanding into a practical action that can help someone with memory loss living in their community. According to the initiative’s website, there are more than 70,000 Dementia Friends across the country.

An estimated 5.7 million Americans ages 65 and older are living with Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia. Nearly 60% of people with dementia live in their own communities, and one in seven live alone, creating an urgent need for communities to be supportive of people living with dementia and their caregivers.

Dementia Friends programs are free and open to the public. For more information, call Constant at (413) 588-5184.