The Garrison Institute on Aging, a research institute of Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC), recently continued efforts to expand its horizons and contributions to the community by joining a national network of individuals, communities and organizations known as Dementia Friendly America.
The Dementia Friendly America network seeks to establish communities across the country that are equipped to support people living with dementia and their caregivers. Dementia refers to a wide range of medical conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease, that cause a decline in one’s cognitive abilities. More than 6.2 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s and 11 million caregivers support them. In Texas, more than 400,000 persons live with dementia and 1.5 million family and friends are providing care.
Annette Boles, director of community outreach and education for the Garrison Institute on Aging, said the Dementia Friendly Lubbock initiative is proud to help foster the development of change in the way people think and act toward those living with dementia and their caregivers.
“Every positive action we take as a community will increase awareness of this disease and have an impact on those affected,” Boles said. “Through education, services and advocacy, Dementia Friendly Lubbock will strive to serve all in the community. As Dementia Friendly Lubbock continues its partnership with Dementia Friendly America, we will continually engage the public in awareness of dementia and how understanding this disease can make a positive impact and a difference in all lives.”
Boles said the continuing support of local medical, government and public entities, as well as the efforts put forth by the various planning partners who assisted in achieving Dementia Friendly status for Lubbock, is important as the organization moves forward. Those local supporters include the City of Lubbock, Brookdale Memory Care, South Plains Association of Governments, Retired Senior Volunteer Program, West Texas Alzheimer’s Association, Texas Tech Physicians and Texas Tech University.
Boles said Dementia Friendly Lubbock is making plans to host a kickoff event next spring where attendees will learn about the dementia friendly program and its vision is for Lubbock. For more information, email Boles.