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Bethesda Aberdeen to Serve as Champion for Dementia Friendly America

Aberdeen is the first community in South Dakota to be accepted into the Dementia Friendly America network!!
Aberdeen was recently welcomed into the Dementia Friendly America (DFA) network of communities. The Aberdeen Area Chamber of Commerce’s Health & Wellness Committee, with the assistance of Dr. Harvey Hart, began the process of becoming a DFA community in April of this year. An action team was put in place – made up of local health care professionals, business professionals, public officials & their representatives and caregivers – and a readiness and recognition criteria statement was submitted to DFA. Official word of acceptance was received on September 17, 2019.

Bethesda Aberdeen serves as Aberdeen’s Champion Organization and fiscal sponsor, although many organizations that serve the elder population will be working together to best serve their needs.

Founded in 2015, DFA is a national network of communities, organizations and individuals seeking to ensure that communities across the US are equipped to support people living with dementia and their caregivers. Dementia friendly communities foster the ability of people living with dementia to remain in community and engage & thrive in day-to-day living.

The Aberdeen DFA action team estimates it will take another 1 ½ to 2 years before all phases of the process are complete and a toolkit has been completed for our community. During this process, the action team will convene, engage, analyze and act together to educate our citizens and foster dementia friendliness.