A campaign to tackle the stigma and lack of understanding around dementia is underway with the support of Jefferson County Aging and Disability Resource Center.

Heather Janes and Rob Griesel, dementia care specialists for Jefferson and Dodge counties, are hosting a ‘Dementia Friends’ information session on July 16 at 9:30 a.m. and is looking for local people to join in learning about dementia and helping people who are living with it in the community.

Dementia Friends is an initiative to change people’s perceptions of dementia. It aims to transform the way one thinks, talks and acts about the disease. The Dementia Friends session will help one learn about dementia and the small ways it can help. From telling friends about the program to visiting someone living with dementia, every action counts.

The one-hour session will take place at the Watertown Public Library, 100 S. Water St. in room 2 at 9:30 a.m.

Approximately 110,000 people in Wisconsin are living with Alzheimer's.

Having volunteered to be Dementia Friends champions, Janes and Greisel are delivering Dementia Friends sessions to people across Jefferson and Dodge Counties. Janes said, “I signed up to be a Dementia Friends champion because I wanted to increase awareness of dementia in our county and help reduce stigma. It’s easy to get involved. I attended a training and I’m proud to be part of a growing network of people creating dementia friendly communities together.”

Anyone interested in attending the Dementia Friends training can contact the Aging and Disability Resource Center of Dodge County at 920-386-4308. Any general questions about the program can be directed to Janes at 920-675-4035.

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