Dementia Friendly America - SPOTLIGHT
In late 2021, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport has become the first dementia-friendly airport in the US. This is the next step in making Phoenix a dementia-friendly city. Designation as a dementia-friendly airport involves specific staff training, environmental and systems changes that make it easier and more comfortable for people experiencing dementia, their families and traveling companions to navigate the airport. Changes at Sky Harbor include things like the Compassion Cacti™ Lanyard Program. The special lanyard, worn around the neck, identifies a traveler as a person who experiences dementia, making it easier for airport staff to recognize them and offer assistance. The lanyard also gives travelers the ability to enter new sensory rooms - quiet areas that offer minimal distractions. This can help reduce agitation and confusion that can present when a person experiencing dementia is in unfamiliar, frenetic surroundings.
Phoenix was among the first and largest cities to commit to joining Dementia Friendly America (DFA). DFA is a national network of communities, organizations and individuals seeking to ensure that communities across the U.S. are equipped to support people living with dementia and their caregivers. Dementia friendly communities foster the ability of people living with dementia to remain in community and engage and thrive in day to day living.
Consider taking action to make your VT community dementia friendly!