Dementia Friendly San Antonio Town Hall
Last month the Caring for the Caregiver program hosted a town hall open to the public to kick-off the Dementia Friendly San Antonio initiative. Representatives of all sectors of the community were invited to commit to practices that are more inclusive of people living with dementia and their family caregivers. Over 250 people attended the town hall and shared their perspectives about what “dementia friendly” means to them. The community identified a wide range of priority areas for the Dementia Friendly San Antonio initiative, the majority of which are focused around socialization, resources, education, and awareness.
Kathy Beer, a family caregiver, spoke of her desire for a compassionate and inclusive community in which she and her husband, Tommy, felt welcomed and supported. Mary Lou Rodriguez, a person living with dementia, talked about her diagnosis and the impact it has made on her and her family. Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Councilwoman Ana Sandoval of District 7 emphasized the need for a community-based movement toward inclusivity, support, and kindness for family caregivers and their loved ones living with dementia. Jan Dougherty of Dementia Friendly Tempe facilitated our round table discussions to identify our unique priorities. Other speakers included President William L. Henrich, M.D., MACP of UT Health San Antonio, Meg Barron and Ginny Funk of the Alzheimer’s Association, and Dr. Sudha Seshadri of the Glenn Biggs Institute on Alzheimer’s and Neurodegenerative Diseases.
Several organizations and agencies from different sectors have reached out to Caring for the Caregiver to develop action plans for dementia-friendly practices. Using the incredibly valuable feedback given at the town hall, these action plans will be carefully developed to address the unique needs of the San Antonio community. Keep an eye out on our website for future Town Halls and Dementia Friendly San Antonio updates.
To watch the full Dementia Friendly San Antonio Town Hall video, click here.