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City Announces Commitment to Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement’s 5-Step Agenda

Post Date:April 08, 2019 4:33 PM

WAM 2Alzheimer’s disease is a significant and growing health and safety issue for older adults and those who care for them. As part of efforts to be a community capable of addressing this issue, the City of West Hollywood has signed on to the Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement 5-Step Agenda for Cities. This movement, and nonprofit organization, was founded by Maria Shriver to raise awareness of women’s increased risk for Alzheimer’s and to educate the public about protecting brain health.

“I’m proud that the City of West Hollywood is again the vanguard in our leadership on prevention and preparedness programs,” said City of West Hollywood Councilmember John J. Duran. “With work already under way to address Alzheimer’s and other dementias, the City of West Hollywood was the first municipality to commit to the Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement 5-Step Agenda for Cities to become more Alzheimer’s and dementia friendly. West Hollywood launched its five-year Aging in Place, Aging in Community” Strategic Plan in 2016 with a goal to increase the City and community’s focus on the services, programs, and policies that promote health, independence, and civic participation across a person’s lifespan.”

Some milestones for the Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement 5-Step Agenda include:

Convening a local summit on Alzheimer’s: In November 2017, The City of West Hollywood, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Sheila Kuehl’s office, Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles, and Alzheimer’s Greater Los Angeles co-sponsored “Matters of the Mind: A Community Forum on Understanding and Responding to Alzheimer’s and other related Dementias.” The forum was for health care and social service professionals, business owners and employees, first responders, community members, and family caregivers. Additional educational events are also being planned;

Coming out with localized plans: The City of West Hollywood is including Alzheimer’s and dementia readiness in the implementation of its Aging in Place/Aging in Community five-year strategic plan to improve the quality of life and well-being of older adults;

Training for law enforcement personnel: The City of West Hollywood works closely with the LA County’s Sheriff’s and Fire Departments and local nonprofit organizations to help protect and respond to the safety needs of the most vulnerable members of the community. The LA County Sheriff’s Department recently adopted new response protocols to locate missing persons who have wandered due to Alzheimer’s and other dementias, as well as autism. Additionally, deputies at the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station routinely and frequently participate in Crisis Intervention (CIT) training, which includes training for safety issues related to dementia;

Engaging with local colleges and universities: The City of West Hollywood currently offers a series of classes designed by UCLA faculty; these four-week programs are designed to provide strategies and exercises to improve long-term memory; and,

Building a city where people of all ages can thrive: For more than three decades, the City of West Hollywood has allocated millions of dollars annually in grants to fund social services programs to support the community, especially for those who are most vulnerable. The City invests in programs that increase community access to health care, food and nutrition programs, mental health services, recovery services, transportation, recreation, socialization, and affordable housing.

Every 65 seconds in the United States, another person’s brain develops Alzheimer’s, and two-thirds of those afflicted are women. An estimated 5.7 million people are currently living with Alzheimer’s in this country and more than 16.1 million people of all ages are serving as unpaid caregivers. Roughly two-thirds of those caregivers are women, often juggling this caretaking with the additional demands of parenting and careers.

For more information about the City of West Hollywood’s work to address Alzheimer’s and other dementias, please contact the City of West Hollywood’s Strategic Initiatives Manager, Corri Planck at (323) 848-6430 or cplanck@weho.org. For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing, please call TTY (323) 848-6496. For up-to-date news and events, follow the City of West Hollywood on social media @WeHoCity and sign up for news updates at www.weho.org/email.
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