Dementia Friendly Iowa State Coordinator Announced

posted 5/28/2021 in Press Releases

The Iowa Association of Area Agencies on Aging (i4a) and Northeast Iowa Area Agency on Aging (NEI3A) are proud to announce the development of a Dementia Friendly Iowa State Coordinator. This position, developed and funded collaboratively between the University of Iowa’s Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program (GWEP) and NEI3A, will oversee dementia-friendly activities, including two major initiatives, Dementia Friends Iowa (i4a is the sublicense holder) and dementia-friendly communities (NEI3A is the Dementia Friendly America, State Lead).

  • Dementia Friends Iowa is part of a global movement to change the way people think, act, and talk about dementia.  To become Dementia Friends, community members go through a series of online videos or attend a live interactive session to learn about what it is like to live with dementia and turns that understanding into action within their communities.
  • Dementia Friendly Communities are cities or towns that are informed, safe, and respectful of individuals with dementia, their families, and caregivers and provides supportive options that foster quality of life. To become a Dementia Friendly Community, a cross-sector team along with community members with dementia meet to collaborate on efforts to improve their local area.

Megan Zimmerman, the current Dementia Friendly Cedar Valley Coordinator, will be taking on the Dementia Friendly Iowa State Coordinator role.  Her responsibilities will include:

  • Serving as a master trainer for Dementia Friends, coordinating and training Dementia Friends across the state in collaboration with Iowa’s Area Agencies on Aging, the Gerontology Society of Iowa, the Aging & Disability Resource Center network.
  • Coordinating the Dementia Friendly Cedar Valley initiative as well as developing materials to expand this program to other communities across that state.
  • Organizing communications, trainings, events and conferences to educate business and community members about dementia and how they can become more dementia friendly.

The new Dementia Friendly Iowa State Coordinator will start on July 1 bringing cohesive effort to increasing public awareness about dementia and strengthening dementia friendly communities across the state.  For more information about Dementia Friends or Dementia Friendly Communities in Iowa, please contact NEI3A at 1-800-779-8707.

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