Denver – A Dementia- Friendly City

Until an article landed in my inbox, I was not aware that my city of Denver, Colorado was striving to be a “dementia friendly” city. Read on to find out more about the significance of the ‘dementia friendly” city initiative, which can be of major help to those suffering from dementia and to their caregiver partners.

In Colorado…According to AARP Colorado (Press Release. 07.14.2015): “In a groundbreaking national effort, Denver is heeding that call and today announced that it will become “dementia friendly.” A dementia friendly community is defined as one that is informed, safe and respectful of individuals with dementia and their families, provides supportive options, and fosters quality of life…The announcement was made today at the White House Conference on Aging.“

The effort has also been spearheaded in Minnesota and according to the Daily Union (Wisconsin) news article (September 12, 2015) Watertown (AP) – “The hope in Watertown is to have as many businesses as possible learn more about how to better serve people whose decline in memory or other thinking skills is affecting their everyday activities.”

According to the article, Here are some ways in which the city of Watertown is working towards the goal of being a ‘dementia friendly’ community:

Training sessions are tailored for specific professions. Lawyers and estate planners are asked to break up explanations into shorter, more digestible ones.

“Coffee shop baristas are advised to ask yes or no questions rather than rattling off menu options. Bank tellers are instructed on how to not get impatient when customers get confused while counting their money.”

According to the article, efforts toward the dementia-friendly initiative began in 2009-

“Minnesota’s dementia friendly effort started as part of a 2009 legislative mandate to generate ideas to address the problem.”

Like Denver- Tempe, Arizona is making the commitment to becoming dementia friendly. The initiative has even spread to Europe and the U.K., Scotland and Ireland have embraced the concepts (of becoming dementia friendly).

For more information you can go to There is an excellent video explaining the goals of Dementia Friendly American (DFA).

According to their website:

“The Dementia Friendly America initiative, a multi-sector, national collaborative, is on a mission to foster communities that are equipped to support people with dementia and their family and friend caregivers by becoming “dementia friendly.”

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About Attorney Barbara Ann Dalvano

Attorney in Denver, Colorado with extensive practice experience in the areas of Estate Planning, Wills and Trusts, Business Succession Planning, Probate, Contract Law.

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