MISSOULA – The University of Montana will host two speakers involved with creating dementia-friendly communities in their states on Wednesday, Oct. 18.
Olivia Mastry and Kay Wallick will present from 6 to 8 p.m. in Room 204 of the Todd Building, located behind the University Center. The presentation, sponsored by the Missoula Coalition on Aging and Disability Education Committee with funding from UM’s Montana Geriatric Education Center, is free and open to the public.
Mastry, the executive lead for Minnesota’s volunteer-driven, award-winning Act on Alzheimer’s initiative, has worked for more than 10 years on creating dementia-friendly communities throughout the state. Wallick, director of the newly developed Dementia Friendly Wyoming, has 35 years of experience in social services administration.
Dementia currently affects more than 20,000 Montanans over the age of 65, and this number is expected to increase to 27,000 by 2025. A dementia-friendly community is informed, safe, respectful and supportive of individuals with dementia and their families. In it, people with dementia are empowered to have goals, hopes and confidence, knowing they can contribute and participate in activities that are meaningful to them and others, setting up a win-win dynamic.
Creating a dementia-friendly community involves raising awareness, challenging stigma, increasing understanding and providing dementia education to key community sectors, including businesses, financial and legal services, faith communities, first responders, housing, transportation, the health care network and city/county agencies and officials.
For more information on the presentation, call Missoula Aging Services at 406-728-7682.