Many thanks to Wednesday Journal for publishing the article on Al’s Grill and dementia-friendly designation efforts in Oak Park — River Forest having already achieved its designation. [Al’s Grill hailed for dementia-friendly service, News, Feb. 5] It is our sincere hope that other regional villages (Forest Park, Berwyn, Cicero, Austin and other areas) will follow these examples. 

Having trained staffs and institutions that understand the challenges and benefits of dementia-friendly practices will ultimately benefit the whole of those suffering the disease, their caregivers and their families. These numbers will only increase with time. Challenges to those experiencing dementia include lack of confidence, physical health issues, worry about becoming confused, not wanting to burden others, worry about getting lost, lack of appropriate transport and mobility issues.

 The primary benefits to becoming a dementia-friendly business/organization include retaining existing customers while attracting new ones, along with caregivers, family and friends. 

We are just at the beginning of addressing the many environmental issues that impact quality of life in our villages, but this is an exciting start. It’s just good business to demonstrate social responsibility that values customers by exhibiting awareness and compassion.

Brooke McMillin

Arbor West Neighbors 

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