The Latest Council on Aging Initiative: Creating a Dementia Friendly Bedford

Submitted by Bedford Council on Aging

An estimated 130,000 people in Massachusetts live with Alzheimer’s disease, and this number is expected to climb. The Commonwealth’s population is aging at a fast rate and Massachusetts has more residents over the age of 60 than under the age of 20.

With this in mind, the Council on Aging Board, Director and staff have recently embarked on plans to create a Dementia Friendly Bedford. This initiative, headed by Board Member Cindy Tulimeri, aligns with the Massachusetts Council on Aging’s Dementia Friendly Massachusetts (DFM) movement and Dementia Friendly America.

The goal of DFM is to increase the number of municipalities around the Commonwealth that commit to supporting those living with dementia, their families, and care partners, by signing the DFM pledge. On May 8, the Bedford Select Board voted to endorse the pledge and Bedford is now recognized as a Dementia Friendly community.

DFM provides working groups with support, education, networking, online resources, and guidance. The grassroots Bedford team, along with the COA, includes the Bedford Public Library, Board of Health, an experiences caregiver and a representative of the Alzheimer’s Association. More community partners and organizations will be invited to join as the work progresses over the next few years.   

The month of June is also Brain Health Awareness Month and to recognize this important month the Dementia Friendly Bedford group plans to bring informative articles related to dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and the surrounding support and resources available in and around Bedford.

If you or your organization is interested in joining this mission, please reach out to the COA at 781-275-6825.  

For more information on Dementia Friendly Massachusetts, please follow this link:

https://dfmassachusetts.org/

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