Chris Cremean is hoping to make Swanton a more supportive community for those dealing with dementia. To do that, he is initiating a program called Dementia-Friendly Community for Swanton.
Cremean said the number of people with dementia is growing at an alarming rate.
“Currently, more than five million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s alone,” he said. “Alzheimer’s makes up approximately 60 percent of those experiencing dementia.”
In 2015, more than 15 million caregivers provided an estimated 18.1 billion hours of unpaid care to those with Alzheimer’s, he added.
“Not only those who suffer from dementia need help, but also the caregivers whose lives are impacted by trying to manage their family’s needs, work, and helping their loved ones, too,” said Cremean, a resource specialist at Swanton Health Care & Retirement Center. “There is a need for whole communities to be a part of the solution to how the community will accept, assist, and advocate.”
He said the first step to getting community members to become a Dementia-Friendly Community is education.
“That is why is it necessary to hold education sessions with businesses, churches, educators, and other concerned citizens,” Cremean said. “Through these educational sessions, community members can develop ways to accept, assist, and advocate for those who deal with the effects of dementia.”
One such session is planned for next week at the Swanton Public Library. It will be held July 20 from 7-8 p.m. Those interested in the free program can call 419-826-2760 to register or register online at swantonpubliclibrary.org.
If interested in another session, call to schedule an educational session, contact Cremean at Swanton Healthcare and Retirement Center, 419-825-1145 or by email at [email protected]
Drew Stambaugh can be reached at 419-335-2010 or on Twitter @Swan_Enterprise