KAWARTHA LAKES-The Ontario government says it is investing up to $527,900 to expand the Finding Your Way program through Dementia Friendly Communities so that people living with dementia can be included in all aspects of community life.
The Dementia Friendly Communities approach is a new model of community development which will help expand the Finding Your Way program to reach new target populations, including Indigenous communities, newcomers, police, fire and EMS first responders and local service providers to promote a better understanding of the safety risks people with dementia may face.
The Dementia Friendly Communities approach is part of a broader strategy of the Finding Your Way program in partnership with the Alzheimer Society of Ontario. These communities, which will be established across the province, support people with dementia so they can participate in community life with respect, understanding and compassion.
“Ontario’s population is aging, and projections show that growing numbers of Ontarians will be living with dementia,” said Raymond Cho, Minister for Seniors and Accessibility. “This investment will help raise awareness of Dementia Friendly Communities and provide communities and first responders with much needed resources to help keep older Ontarians living with dementia safe.”
“People living with dementia have the right to access support to live as independently as possible and to be as engaged as possible in their community,” said Cathy Barrick, CEO of the Alzheimer Society of Ontario. “Finding Your Way, as part of the Dementia Friendly Communities approach, helps to meet the physical, cognitive, social, and spiritual needs of our clients resulting in improved quality of life and the ability to live well.”
Finding Your Way helps people living with dementia, caregivers, first responders and communities manage the risks faced by seniors with dementia-related memory loss who may go missing from their homes. The program also provides valuable tools and resources such as digital marketing campaigns, educational seminars and a resource guide called Living Safely with Dementia. These will help older Ontarians living with dementia to stay in their community of choice longer and avoid crisis situations which can lead to hospitalization or accelerated admission to long-term care.