GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - As we get older our risk for dementia increases. For many people, dementia is part of everyday life, either for themselves or their loved ones. In Grand Rapids, there is a group that works to help connect people in the community with the resources they need in order to better navigate the dementia landscape.
Dementia Friendly Grand Rapids got its start as a group of professionals brought together to address the problem of people not knowing about, or being connected with, the many resources available to help someone with dementia in Grand Rapids.
In 2014, the group decided to create the state's first dementia friendly city. To do that, the group is gathering support from the community.
Dementia Friendly Grand Rapids is part of a national movement to create "Dementia Friends" who are aware and supportive so that people who live in the city can navigate daily life more comfortably. Part of that effort is to push toward making Grand Rapids a more accessible and inclusive city.
Right now, DFGR's main focus is to create awareness. The group is teaching people about dementia and helping participants develop practical actions they can use to help someone in the community with dementia if they happen to encounter them.
In just the last year, volunteers with Dementia Friendly Grand Rapids have provided more than 30 trainings, providing more than 400 people to become new "Dementia Friends".
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