Delaware Public Media

Delaware seeks to be more "dementia friendly"

Apr 30, 2019

State officials are looking for ways to make Delaware a friendlier place for people with dementia and their caregivers.

Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall-Long is leading the campaign through the state’s Division of Services for Aging and Adults with Physical Disabilities. It’s part of a national movement called Dementia Friendly America that was sparked by Minnesota legislation last year.  

DSAAPD is working to spread information on dementia and connect those affected with resources. The agency unveiled a website,, to help accomplish that on Tuesday.

“On the website we have lots of resources for someone who is newly diagnosed with dementia, for their care partners as well as medical professionals where they can click on a tab and find lots of different resources for them, including videos of people in Delaware who are facing dementia,” said DSAAPD Planner Julie Devlin.

According to the website, more than 26,000 Delawareans have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or a related dementia.  

DSAAPD has been expanding programs for those people with a federal grant since 2015—this includes temporary respite care, caregiver training and home monitoring with technology. Those dollars run out in August, but Delvin says her agency will continue funding the programs.

She also says the Dementia Friendly Delaware Campaign won’t likely have a cost attached to it. But could include efforts like working with local businesses to encourage dementia friendly changes like larger signs.

“In businesses and organizations, larger signs are a great resource to have because people with dementia often have eye issues—so making them large and [in] easily located places,” said Delvin. “And, you know, businesses and organizations also having clear uncolored hallways—good lighting is a really good one.”