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Hospice Workers Become Dementia Friends

I presented another Dementia Friend Information Session to the hospice workers of Care Initiatives in Cedar Rapids, IA on June 29, 2023.  I truly enjoy providing education on many topics!  Being a Dementia Friend Champion allows me to meet and educate a variety of different groups of people, from health care workers to students, and spread awareness of dementia and how we, as a community, can be more in tune with those living with the disease.

These individuals are living all around us and cognitive change can be difficult to see and understand so becoming a Dementia Friend is a great way to start learning about how to best assist someone who has dementia, particularly complete strangers.  It can be intimidating or overwhelming to think about approaching a stranger who appears to be lost or struggling with a task.The best thing to do is to slowly approach the person from the front with a friendly smile, relaxed demeanor, make eye contact and introduce yourself, offer a handshake and ask, “can I help you with anything?”.

 I would NOT bring it to their attention that they may look confused, lost, or upset because even though it may be true, pointing it out could make them feel embarrassed, ashamed, and possibly less willing to talk to you. Knowledge is power and our actions could really improve the quality of life for those living with dementia!  If you feel that your workplace would benefit from this education, please call Right at Home at 319-826-6608 or Megan Zimmerman, state Dementia Friends education coordinator, at 319-287-1182.

S. Humphries
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