Community Partners in Action, located in Innisfail, Alberta, wanted to raise awareness of dementia with the aim to reduce stigma. The focus of a dementia friendly community is to support people living with dementia to age within their community as active participants, safely, independently with dignity and invest in the wellness of their care partners.
In order to support people living with dementia and their care partners it requires a collaborative, community based health and social services, organized around the needs of people living with dementia.
All people have the right to live fully within their community. Their initiative has created a social impact and a culture of awareness for people living with dementia and their care partners. As Innisfail, Alberta progresses to becoming dementia and age friendly, a network of support will exist.
Some of the Community Partners in Action initiatives that help make Innisfail a Dementia Friendly Community include:
Memory café: The Memory Café is a safe and social gathering place where those impacted by dementia or memory loss can get out socially, hare memories and experiences, and make new friendships and provide support over a comforting beverage. The Memory Café has been sponsored by the Rotary Club of Innisfail.
Fall Prevention Program: The falls prevention program is an exercise program for people living with dementia and their care partners. The program runs two times per week for 1 hour and includes exercises and memory activities. Innisfail Drop in care partner support group runs simultaneously with the falls prevention program once per month.
Intergenerational Garden Club: The garden club was a highlight of intergenerational activities between local families, individuals living with dementia and care partners. This program was supported by the Innisfail Garden Club.
Innisfail Connects: This includes a variety of interactive phone or online social/health program opportunities. These programs are free of charge and provides friendly conversation for older adults. Participants can join from the comfort of their own home. Innisfail Connects is for older adults (55+) who are looking for a way to stay in touch.
Art from the Heart and Painting with Purpose: Art from the Heart is a beginner art class for individuals living with Dementia and who may experience difficulty completing complex tasks. Painting with Purpose is an intermediate painting class for individuals with early-stage Dementia.
Dementia Friendly Resource Kits: The Community in Action, along with the paramedics celebrated a unique partnership with the creation of the Dementia Friendly Resource Kits. These kits have been shared with local emergency stakeholders (Medavie, Innisfail Emergency Department, Victim Services, AHS Home Care, Wolf Creek Primary Care Network, and Innisfail Fire Department), and local care partners. Dementia Friendly ambulance is the first of its kind in the UK.
For more information about this initiative, contact the Wolf Creek Primary Care Network.