There’s about 24,000 people in New Hampshire suffering from Alzheimer’s. That doesn’t even include the different types of dementia. Recognizing this huge number, the city of Portsmouth decided to do something. Portsmouth has become the first dementia friendly community in NH.
Portsmouth has Become the First Dementia Friendly Community in NH
How did the city manage to do that? They gave proper training for the people who interact the most with people with Alzheimer’s or dementia.
Who are they? First responders, grocery store cashiers, bank tellers. Each one of these people can significantly help someone with dementia or alzheimer’s.
The idea came when Jenna Dion, senior living program specialist at Wentworth Senior Living, heard of the national Dementia Friendly program. She immediately got other professionals within the senior community to join her in creating a Dementia Friendly Community in Portsmouth.
Ronda Randazzo, manager of education programs for the Alzheimer’s Association’s Massachusetts and New Hampshire chapter, is in charge of training these individuals. The first being the Portsmouth police officers and firefighters, who are at the front lines when it comes to interactions with seniors.
Each of the officers and firefighters will receive two to four hours of training by the beginning of the new year.
Read more about the training and the national Dementia Friendly program here.