River Forest named dementia-friendly community

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By Nona Tepper

River Forest was named the fifth dementia-friendly community in the state of Illinois at a board meeting on Feb. 11, a designation that acknowledges the village's coordinated work in supporting those who suffer from dementia as well as supporting their caregivers. The village has been working to achieve this award for more than a year. 

"This was a culmination of a lot of folks getting together and talking about how we can make our community more dementia-friendly," Village President Cathy Adduci said at the meeting. "It's not just saying we understand dementia-friendly; it's saying we support our partners who provide supportive resources to families, the caretakers who support [those with] dementia, Alzheimer's patients. So really it's a community-wide support and recognition." 

The designation is the result of a collaboration between the village, River Forest Township, Oak Park-River Forest Senior Services, and more. 

Lydia Manning, an associate professor of gerontology at Concordia University Chicago who led the local discussion, said groups will soon be holding events on how to support caregivers, recognize those suffering from dementia, and more. 

"Our goal is to reach out to Oak Park, Maywood, Austin, have it spread out as we go," Manning said at the meeting. "It cuts across many sectors, banking, finance, business. We do need some representation from the K-12 system, so that's where I'm going next, to try to think about how we teach our high schoolers, even middle school and elementary students about aging and dementia because it doesn't just start at 65."  

Nona Teppe

River Forest was named the fifth dementia-friendly community in the state of Illinois at a board meeting on Feb. 11, a designation that acknowledges the village's coordinated work in supporting those who suffer from dementia as well as supporting their caregivers. The village has been working to achieve this award for more than a year. 

"This was a culmination of a lot of folks getting together and talking about how we can make our community more dementia-friendly," Village President Cathy Adduci said at the meeting. "It's not just saying we understand dementia-friendly; it's saying we support our partners who provide supportive resources to families, the caretakers who support [those with] dementia, Alzheimer's patients. So really it's a community-wide support and recognition." 

The designation is the result of a collaboration between the village, River Forest Township, Oak Park-River Forest Senior Services, and more. 

Lydia Manning, an associate professor of gerontology at Concordia University Chicago who led the local discussion, said groups will soon be holding events on how to support caregivers, recognize those suffering from dementia, and more. 

"Our goal is to reach out to Oak Park, Maywood, Austin, have it spread out as we go," Manning said at the meeting. "It cuts across many sectors, banking, finance, business. We do need some representation from the K-12 system, so that's where I'm going next, to try to think about how we teach our high schoolers, even middle school and elementary students about aging and dementia because it doesn't just start at 65."  

Nona Tepper

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