As the number of Indiana residents with dementia continues to grow, Dementia Friends Indiana Chapter is dedicated to educating Indiana residents and business owners on how to create dementia friendly atmospheres and have dementia friendly conversations.
Applegate & Dillman Elder Law is dedicated to Indiana’s senior population. To that end, we have chosen to become Dementia Friends. We made this decision because we recognize that those suffering from dementia are a delicate part of our community, and with a better understanding of the disease, we can be more sensitive to their needs and create an atmosphere that makes them comfortable.
Here are some of the key things we’ve learned in becoming Dementia Friends:
1. Dementia does not discriminate.
It is hard to understand how such a relentless disease does not have a “type.” When we ask our clients, and even talk amongst ourselves, mental decline is among many of our greatest fears. We learned through our Dementia Friends training that dementia can impact anyone. Therefore, being aware of the symptoms of dementia and learning how to interact with those impacted by dementia are incredibly important.
2. Dementia impacts more than just the mind.
Often when thinking of dementia, prior to our Dementia Friends training, the staff at Applegate & Dillman Elder Law considered it to be a disease only of the mind. Unfortunately, we learned that this is not true. Dementia can impact many other parts of the body including a person’s ability to walk or stand, a person’s vision, lack of appetite, and even someone’s ability to use the bathroom. These are just a few of the physical conditions that can arise when someone is suffering from dementia.
3.Dementia is not a normal part of aging.
Sometimes dementia is just lumped together as a part of the aging process. Through our training we learned that not only is dementia not a normal part of aging, but not everyone will suffer from the disease. While this is comforting to consider that not everyone will experience dementia, it also helps us be aware of the grieving process that families and individuals go through when they receive a diagnosis.
It is quite likely that in your lifetime you will come across someone who must endure the dementia journey, and because of that we would like to encourage you to become a Dementia Friend too. Dementia Friends Indiana offers great resources and guides for caregivers that can be found here.
If you are feeling lost or alone in this process, please do not hesitate to reach out to Applegate & Dillman Elder Law- newly certified Dementia Friends. We would be honored to share our knowledge and help you through this difficult process.