Christenson Johnson Is Designated a Dementia Friendly Business
This month the attorneys and staff of Christenson Johnson, LLC took part in Dementia Friendly Business training offered by the Aging and Disability Resource Center of Dane County. A dementia friendly business is a business whose staff has been trained to best serve its customers who have dementia and has evaluated its environment to help improve the experience for individuals who struggle with memory challenges. Topics that were discussed include: risk factors associated with dementia, warning signs of cognitive problems, information on managing the symptoms of dementia, and community resources.
Becoming a Dementia Friendly Business is a step toward our entire community becoming dementia friendly. According to Attorney David Godfrey in the American Bar Association newsletter, The Voice of Experience, “The goal of developing a dementia-friendly community is to create a living environment that empowers adults with changes in memory or cognition to live in the setting they most desire.” Developing this type of community involves two steps. The first is to bring community partners and service providers together. It is important for the community to be aware of dementia and understand that it gradually changes a person’s ability to remember information and make decisions. With these changes, someone increasingly needs help to maintain safety and independence. The second step is to survey community partners to recognize what programs and services are available to help people with dementia and their loved ones. This second step also identifies what programs and services can be added or expanded to assist the community to become more dementia friendly.
For Christenson Johnson, being dementia friendly is an important part of supported decision-making for our clients and the advisors they have selected. This concept is described by Attorney Godfrey as “gently guiding while honoring the choices of the person to the maximum extent possible.” Ideally, a person with dementia is guided in making decisions by a trusted circle of supportive advisors, with the main decisions being made by the person for as long as possible. After the person with dementia is no longer able to make their own decisions, it is important to have substitute decision makers available. Therefore, advance planning for the person with dementia is essential and should include healthcare directives, powers of attorney, and possibly trusts.
Contact us to learn more about our dementia friendly services and to begin planning for what’s next for you and your loved ones.
For information on becoming a dementia friendly business, contact Joy Schmidt, Dementia Care Specialist, Dane County Human Services at (608) 240-7400.