A Kentucky restaurant is paving the way to dementia awareness, launching a “dementia friendly” night at their eatery.

As highlighted in The Washington Post, a Kentucky native who cared for his own father who experienced dementia symptoms, often dealt with the discomfort and anxiety of frequenting businesses with staff who didn’t understand the specific needs of his dad. In an effort to change the experiences of dementia patients and their caregivers, he partnered with the team at Jim’s Steak and Spaghetti House, a restaurant whose former owners both passed away from dementia-related causes. Now, the restaurant is holding “dementia-friendly” nights once a month in order to provide a safe and accepting environment to dementia patients and their families.

I applaud this effort because it is so important!

As the number of those impacted by dementia increases, welcoming public environments where they can feel comfortable, safe and understood are becoming increasingly important and necessary. This can also be called being “Dementia Aware.”

When an organization can provide this type of environment, they will have richer and more meaningful connections with the community members they serve. Additionally, their employees will learn how to more effectively connect with the memory impaired.

To raise awareness on the importance of being Dementia Aware and to recognize local businesses who are doing just that, I am proud to have launch a very important campaign called #IAmDementiaAware.”

As part of the campaign, I am offering training to restaurants, care facilities and teams of first responders that regularly interact with the memory impaired. Upon successful completion of training, organizations will receive a sticker to affix on their windows to notify the public that they are a “Dementia-Aware Safe Space” for those with dementia symptoms and their caregivers.

Learn about upcoming training opportunities and how you can help raise awareness here.