Education & Community Support » Dementia Friendly Communities Initiative

SLR's Dementia Friendly Communities Initiative

Imagine that your mother is beginning to experience memory loss, becoming disoriented in the town center she has known for most of her life.

She feels lost and her growing anxiety and sense of embarrassment manifests itself as frustration, perhaps as anger. She does not admit to being lost or confused as she stops and starts, retracing her steps. Bystanders notice her behavior, which seems inappropriate and off-putting. No one helps her. They do not recognize what they are seeing, missing an opportunity to reach out with understanding and compassion. Unintentionally, witnesses leave your mother feeling frightened and alone.

This disturbing scenario is what has guided us in our Dementia Friendly Initiative. The outward signs of memory impairment in the elderly are frequently missed by family members, as well as strangers, or misinterpreted as psychiatric illness. The social stigma attached to conditions of memory loss causes most seniors to avoid admitting to it or asking for help. Dementia, in all forms, is a source of embarrassment and isolation. We believe it's time for a better understanding of dementia.

Committed to Building Dementia Friendly Communities

At Senior Living Residences, we are committed to combating the social stigma of dementia by helping people recognize the signs of memory loss and equipping them with helpful communicative tools. Basic education goes a long way toward improving the way we respond to, engage with, and support those around us who are living with dementia.

  • Building Dementia Friendly Cities - When we launched our initiative in 2014 we partnered with the City of Westfield, MA to make Westfield the first Dementia Friendly City on the east coast of the US! Since then we have launched active programs in Boston, Canton, Sharon, Douglas, Arlington, Concord, Methuen, Milford, Mendon, Quincy, Somerville, and Hampton NH. 
  • Educational Programming and CEUs - We have developed three educational workshops aimed at building an understanding of dementia across a number of community sectors including the general public. These are also available for continuing education credit for Nurses, Social Workers and Case Managers. Call or email to inquire.
  • Caregiver Support Groups - We have established a network of Caregiver Support Groups certified through the Alzheimer's Association that are open to the public for families and caregivers of those with dementia. Find one near you »
  • Emergency Department Dementia Kit  - Created to minimize instances of restraint and over-medication, we give these kits to local hospital emergency departments to train staff on how to better relate with their patients who have dementia.
  • Memory Cafés - Our Memory Cafés provide a supportive gathering place for those with varying levels of memory loss to relax and enjoy conversation with their caregivers and family. 
  • Memory Chorus - A relatively new addition to our dementia friendly catalogue, Memory Chorus explores the therapeutic benefits of singing and socializing. Stay tuned for updates on this cutting-edge program currently running in Westfield, MA.

Proud to be Dementia Friendly

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