When CICOA Aging & In-Home Solutions was looking for partners to help expand Dementia Friends Indiana, it turned to Conner Prairie in Fishers. The living history museum embraced the idea immediately. Since 2018, Conner Prairie has made significant improvements to make the museum a friendlier place for those with dementia.
CICOA presented Conner Prairie with a Partner Award for its work to make visiting a better experience for people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
Leading the way toward a dementia friendly Indiana
Among the steps Conner Prairie has taken to make its grounds more dementia friendly include:
- Creating the Memory Café for people with dementia and their caregivers. Each month the museum offers a free, 90-minute program that covers a variety of topics. The next Memory Café will be July 20.
- All staff and volunteers are taking Dementia Friends training so they can recognize the signs and better understand how to interact with those with dementia.
- Museum maps and signage now highlight designated areas with resting benches and quiet spots.
- Conner Prairie hosted an early opening with free admission last fall. Guests with dementia and their caregivers could enjoy a quieter experience while exploring the museum.
Get involved with Dementia Friends Indiana
Since CICOA launched the Dementia Friends Indiana initiative, more than 2,700 people have participated in the Dementia Friends info session either at a local program or online at www.dementiafriendsindiana.org.
CICOA leads the Dementia Friends Indiana movement, which is a coalition of organizations and individuals. The program aims to advance education and awareness of dementia, reduce the stigma associated with the disease and create community environments that are welcoming and conducive for those living with dementia.