What is Dementia Friendly Missoula?
Dementia Friendly Missoula (DFM), formerly known as the Missoula Coalition on Aging & Disability, began in 2015 as a grassroots initiative by a small group of Missoula community members. As former caregivers of loved ones with dementia, these individuals expressed frustration with the limited approach to dementia care they had experienced. They saw a need for change.
The coalition’s initial goal was to provide education and support to adults with Alzheimer’s and related dementias (ADRD) and their caregivers. Focus was on the point of diagnosis or first health care visit for concern about cognitions. When the opportunity arose, some members became involved with developing the Montana Alzheimer’s and Dementia State Plan, published in December 2016.
We continue to grow.
Since its inception, DFM has provided multiple awareness-raising and educational opportunities in Missoula. Over the past 2½ years, the Dementia Friendly Missoula coalition membership has grown from about 5 members to over 100. Membership has included individuals in the early stages of dementia, who have shared valuable information about their experiences and their vision for living well with dementia. This spring (2018), DFM affiliated with Missoula Aging Services as a volunteer initiative.
Our focus has evolved.
Dementia Friendly Missoula's new name and affiliation signify our focus on leading a community encompassing, systematic process. Recently, DFM met the criteria to join the Dementia Friendly America Network. This membership comes with a wealth of support materials and provides a roadmap for moving ahead with educational outreach to key Missoula community stakeholders.
What is a dementia friendly community?
Dementia friendly communities are informed, safe, and respectful of citizens with dementia; empowering them to continue to live meaningful lives. Creating a dementia friendly community is about raising awareness, challenging stigma, and increasing understanding. Dementia friendly practices will fit well with Missoula’s already welcoming attitude toward community life.
How can I get involved?
Contact us! New members are welcome!
If you are interested in becoming involved with Dementia Friendly Missoula, please click here to email.
The group generally meets once a month at the Missoula Aging Services office at 337 Stephens Ave.
Who does the initiative partner with?
Dementia Friendly Missoula would like to offer special thanks to our partners:
Missoula Aging Services
Montana Geriatric Education Center
Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities
Alzheimer’s Association—Montana Chapter
Dementia Friendly America