Multi-colored paper dolls

About Dementia Friendly Grand Rapids

Dementia Friendly Grand Rapids got it’s start as a group of a handful of professionals that were convened by an individual to address a problem – the problem that the public was not connected with the myriad of resources available to help a person with dementia and his/her caregivers. This group met informally for several years before becoming the Education Sub-Committee of the Caregiver Resource Network, at which time it outlined the following Mission Statement.

The CRN Education Sub-Committee exists to:

  1. Provide evidence-based education to professionals and the community-at-large regarding dementia symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and psychosocial care options;
  1. Provide information regarding community resources to persons caring for loved ones with dementia;
  1. Assist caregivers of persons with dementia in accessing appropriate support services to enable them to have their loved ones remain at home for as long as possible;
  1. Serve as a forum for community professionals to discuss dementia science and practice trends, and to keep them apprised of current and emerging local resources for family and professional caregivers of persons with dementia;
  1. Foster innovative and effective collaborative initiatives and systems to address the needs for care options for persons with dementia and their family caregivers.

The group found a niche in providing education to all kinds of individuals and professionals about dementia, the supportive services available, and the resources that exist to help. They conducted trainings for faith community leaders, legal and financial professionals, police officers, first responders, and transportation providers.

While providing training for the community, the committee stumbled upon information about dementia friendly communities, and realized it was a perfect fit for Grand Rapids and the greater West Michigan community. Since 2014, the group has committed to making Grand Rapids the first dementia friendly community in Michigan, and is garnering the support and partnerships needed to make it happen.

Join us in becoming dementia friendly and making our community a safe, respectful, and engaging place to be for people with dementia.