Columbus, IN—One in nine people over 65 years of age have dementia, and about one-half of people over 85 have some form of dementia. It is estimated that these numbers will continue to increase to 1 in 6 in the next 20 years. In response to this escalating statistic, Thrive Alliance is leading the charge to create dementia-friendly communities throughout Bartholomew County. Following the prescribed protocols of Dementia Friendly Indiana, Thrive Alliance, in collaboration with multiple community partners, is leading an effort for Bartholomew County to join the many communities across the state that are also preparing for the increasing numbers of people living with dementia. “By facilitating education and planning for individuals, businesses, and organizations in every sector of the community to become dementia friendly, we will work together to serve and support individuals with dementia and their caregivers,” states Mark Lindenlaub, Executive Director of Thrive Alliance. The Dementia Friendly America initiative is a multi-sector, nation-wide collaboration of more than 35 leading organizations catalyzing a movement and set of best practices to foster “dementia friendly” communities across the United states. By becoming a dementia friendly community, we will:

  •  Raise awareness of and develop respect and inclusion of individuals with dementia,
  •  Offer services and resources throughout all areas of the community to ensure meaningful access to services that will enhance quality of life,
  •  Support and educate dementia partners and families from diagnosis through the disease progression, and
  •  Promote meaningful engagement in community life.

To join the movement, we are inviting the community to a kick-off event to learn more about the Dementia Friendly Bartholomew County initiative. The kick-off event will be held May 15 from 11:00 am to 11:00 am in the auditorium of the Columbus Learning Center. Attendees will learn what we have done and we plan to do to actively improve our communities’ capabilities to support those living with dementia or caring for someone living with dementia. Dementia-friendly practices optimize the health, well-being, and involvement of those living with dementia and their care partners. All are welcome at the free public event. No registration is required, but RSVP’s are encouraged. For more information about Dementia Friendly America, please call Thrive Alliance at 812-372-6918.

Thrive Alliance serves the residents of Bartholomew, Brown, Decatur, Jackson, and Jennings counties. Our services focus on helping older adults and individuals with disabilities remain safe and independent in their own homes for as long as possible. Our services also include providing safe and affordable housing for low-income individuals and families.

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