How did San Diego Become Recognized as Dementia Friendly?

By: MesaView Senior Assisted Living

85,000 San Diego Seniors Are Impacted by Dementia

According to a 2015 study, approximately 85,000 San Diego seniors are living with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. In 2016, San Diego County became officially recognized as a dementia friendly community. The county pursued this designation with the purpose of making San Diego a region that offers increased support and resources for its citizens impacted by dementia. What makes a community dementia friendly?

Keep reading to learn more about the values and infrastructure of dementia friendly communities…

Top Memory Care and Assisted Living Community in San Diego, California

MesaView Senior Assisted Living is a family owned and operated independent and assisted living community in La Mesa, California. Our owners have firsthand experience of having loved ones with Alzheimer’s and dementia and know all that goes into making decisions around memory care for a loved one.

We walk alongside families as they traverse the difficult road of Alzheimer’s and have been supporting the greater San Diego community for a decade. In addition to independent and assisted living care, we also provide accommodations for hospice care. At Mesa View Senior Assisted Living (and at our partner locations, Harbor View Senior Assisted Living and Bay View Assisted Living) we strive to provide compassionate, individualized care, preserving our residents’ dignity at every stage of their Alzheimer’s journey.

What Values Are Upheld in a Dementia Friendly Community?

Communities that offer increased support, resources, and awareness for people with dementia are considered dementia friendly communities. Ideally, residents would have awareness of the signs and symptoms of dementia and cognitive decline. There would be less fear and avoidance of people living with dementia and they would feel more included in society. One of the primary goals of these communities is for people with Alzheimer’s and dementia to live independently for longer than they otherwise could. They would also be welcomed to participate fully in community life.

For example, one support system offered by the county of San Diego is a running Tai Chi program at various locations. This program is tailored for the needs of older adults affected by dementia. Movements are taught to both left and right sides to target and build balance skills. Gentle Tai Chi has been demonstrated to improve strength, flexibility, balance, and movement.

San Diego County Resource Kit for Families Impacted by Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Dementia-Friendly Toolkit: Caregivers and loved ones play a vital role in supporting people with dementia to stay connected to the larger community. San Diego County provides a free toolkit that has activities and resources that aid people living with dementia. These activities aim to make it easier for people experiencing cognitive decline to stay engaged in interesting recreational pursuits. 

Dementia Communication Card: Alzheimer’s and related dementia can impede an individual’s ability to converse with others. This can cause increasing difficulty for the person as well as for family and caregivers. The Dementia Communication Card is specifically designed to help caregivers create empathetic and easy communication between individuals impacted by dementia and the larger community. It provides simple explanations of what the person with Alzheimer’s might be experiencing and what unique exceptions might be helpful for them. For example, caregivers could discreetly hand the card to a server at a restaurant or to a nail technician at a spa. 

Best Senior Assisted Living Community in San Diego

At MesaView Senior Assisted Living, we pride ourselves on our compassionate, individualized, and holistic model of care. To find out what sets us apart give us a call and schedule a COVID safe tour of our one-of-a-kind assisted living home in San Diego!

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