The neighborhood of Austin on the west side of Chicago developed their Dementia Friendly Austin Quality of Life Task Force in August of 2019. The Task Force and those supporting the efforts include; community members, Divvy bike share, which is a subset of Lyft, the Chicago Department of Transportation SAFE (Streets Are For Everybody) Ambassadors, the Illinois Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, the Outreach Team of the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center, and members of RAW (Residents of the Westside). All members of the task force work in Austin and focus on senior health. Through these connections, they have and will continue to include the voice of those with dementia in their programming development.
The Dementia Friendly Quality of Life for our Elders Task Force have found creative partnerships and activities to reach this underserved community in Chicago. In a community organization model, they have worked to create trust through walking the streets, talking with residents, and delivering dementia education. They held a “Safe Walk” day with people with dementia, caregivers and community members to encourage activity and to feel safe in their neighborhood. There are plans to make this an annual event at which dementia education will be provided. The Task Force members are trained as Dementia Champions and have given talks in Senior Buildings and at the Senior Center. The Task Force is working to expand their reach through partnering with local businesses, the police department and the library.
Contact Dementia Friendly Austin
Shameka Turner, Founder
RAW (Residents of the Westside)