Dementia Friendly Menomonee Falls
"Dementia does not rob someone of dignity. It is our reaction to them that does."
Teepa Snow, Education Specialist Nationally recognized in Dementia Care
In 2019, Menomonee Falls was recognized as a Dementia Friendly Community. A community where people living with dementia are understood, respected, and supported. A place where community members are aware and understand dementia. A community where people living with dementia can continue to live in the way they want to and in a community they choose.
What is Dementia and how is Menomonee Falls Impacted?
Dementia is not a specific disease. It is an overall term that describes a group of symptoms associated with a decline in memory or other thinking skills severe enough to reduce a person’s ability to perform everyday activities. Alzheimer's is the most common type of dementia accounting for 60 to 80 percent of cases. Data shows the Village’s senior (80+) population is growing. Based on the estimated number of seniors living in the Village and the reported number of Alzheimer's disease patients across Waukesha County, there may be up to 900 people living with the disease in Menomonee Falls. Many live alone or with an aging partner/caregiver. Dementia impacts personal independence/safety, relationships, care requirements, and even emergency response protocols.
Dementia Friendly Menomonee Falls volunteers partner with staff from Waukesha County Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) to educate the public and increase awareness of the needs of the growing number of Village residents (and their families/caregivers) living with dementia. Awareness and education initiatives include:
- Presentations at public meetings and community service clubs
- Information tables at community events
- Creation and distribution of print and digital dementia awareness resources
To ensure that residents living on their own with dementia receive the best care possible from first responders, purple tubes containing useful patient information will be placed in home freezers. The tubes will contain medical histories, instructions for patient interaction, power of attorney information, and a photo if the person is known to wander. Signs will alert first responders that they are in purple tube home. The roll out of the purple tube project is expected to begin in fall of 2019.
Menomonee Falls Public Library participates in the Library Memory Project in collaboration with Waukesha, Washington, and Milwaukee County libraries. The mission of the project is to provide programs to those affected by memory loss, Alzheimer’s disease, and other forms of dementia and their caregivers.
The Library is also an active partner in the Wild Plum Memory Café Project. A Memory Café is a social gathering for those who are experiencing early stage dementia, mild memory loss or mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and a family member or care partner. The Café is a place to have fun, share experiences, and stay socially connected. To learn more call 262-532-8920.
The number of people living with dementia is growing rapidly as the population ages. You may have:
- Customers living with dementia
- Customers that are caregivers of those with dementia
- Employees with the beginning stages of dementia
- Employees that are caregivers of those with dementia
Staff from Waukesha County Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) offer businesses and organizations training providing dementia awareness, communication strategies, and helpful approaches for dealing with challenging behaviors. If you are interested in becoming a dementia friendly business or organization contact the Waukesha County Dementia Care Specialist at 262-548-7848.
Background & Resources
A Dementia Friendly work group was formed in 2018 as part of Menomonee Falls’ Collective Impact. The goal of this initiative is to foster an all-inclusive community where those living with dementia will be enabled to live as independently as possible and continue to be engaged in community life.
For more information about Dementia Friendly Menomonee Falls or to get involved in the work group contact Police Chief Anna Ruzinski at 262-532-8700.
In Waukesha County, individuals with dementia, their caregivers and families can contact the ADRC at (262) 548-7848 or the Alzheimer’s Association at 800-272-3900. Visit the Dementia Friendly Waukesha County webpage to learn more about local resources and initiatives.