Whitewater is taking big steps in becoming a dementia-friendly community. In 2017, the Whitewater Community Foundation presented Seniors in the Park with a Community Action Grant of $1,000 to start the initiative.
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services estimates there were 115,000 people in Wisconsin with dementia in 2015. That number is expected to increase by 33% over the next seven years.
"Being knowledgeable about dementia is so important, especially as the Whitewater population ages," said Jenny Spohn, Assistant Executive Director at Mulberry Campus and a member of Whitewater's dementia-friendly initiative. "Part of our job is educationg local businesses about dementia, how to recognize when a person has dementia, and how their employees can be dementia-friendly."
A Purple Angel symbol can be seen in windows of local businesses who have learned how to be dementia friendly. These businesses and service providers welcome and respect those with dementia. "We can also make recommendations on store and signage design in an easy-to-see way as those with dementia experience tunnel vision," said Spohn.
Seniors in the Park have also sponsored two well-attended early detection screenings for dementia. Call (262) 473-0535 to find out about the next screening and to reserve your space.
The Seniors in the Park mission is to "enhance and revitalize the lives of their community by providing programs that challenge the mind, enhance the physical being, create new connections, and be just plain fun."
Mulberry Campus, a dementia-friendly community, offers independent and assisted living in one- and two-bedroom apartments and memory care studios. With multiple levels of discreet support 24 hours a day, dining services, and more, residents can enjoy an active lifestyle with the freedom to spend time as they please and the peace of mind knowing help will arrive as needed.