Citrus County Dementia Friendly America Citrus County Dementia Friendly America
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Introduction:
A key component in any county's claim to be "Dementia Friendly" will include the service and behavior of its businesses toward customers with dementia and their caregivers. Citrus County has a program for Dementia Friendly Business in place with more than 20 businesses trained to date.

Given the fact that the Citrus County Chamber of Commerce has nearly 900 members, and that this likely represents a minority of businesses in the county, there is great opportunity to expand this program.

How Businesses Become Dementia Friendly:
The idea of encouraging businesses to recognize, cater to, and provide a special level of customer service to individuals and families living with dementia appears to have originated in Europe and the UK several years ago.

To our knowledge, the first adoption of this idea in the United States was in Wisconsin three to four years ago. This program requires the manager of a business to undergo a half-hour of training to earn the right to display a "Dementia Friendly" sticker.  A fee of $10 is charged for the training.

One version of Dementia Friendly Business in the United States is the "Purple Angel." program. It was adopted from Great Britain. Under this plan, businesses are asked to verify that a majority of their employees have read a "poster" with information about dementia in order to earn the right to display a Purple Angel on their door.  No training is provided and nothing is done to verify the business owner's claim that employees have participated. No fee is charged.

The American home health care company Home Instead offers a kind of dementia friendly training on line.  An individual reads information on the Home Instead web site and takes a test by answering questions on line.  Individuals who pass the test receive a certificate. No fee is charged.

The Dementia Friendly Business certification available in Citrus and surrounding counties is provided by Coping with Dementia LLC. It includes an hour and a half of hands-on training for individuals who are likely to sell or provide services to individuals with dementia and their caregivers. In order to receive certification, the Business must agree to train all, or at least a majority of their employees who regularly deal with the public.  A fee of $25 per student is charged, but scholarships for free training are available through a fund set up for that purpose.

Community Benefits of a Dementia Friendly Business Program:
It is clear from the experience in Citrus County that a business can benefit in reputation, marketing, and sales through Dementia Friendly certification.  The benefit can differ widely depending on the type of business and how aggressively it approaches promotion of its certification, but to date no adverse effect of being certified Dementia Friendly has been reported.

So, it is good for appropriate businesses (which we shall discuss below), but from DFA's point of view the value of such a program is how it contributes to the community as a whole.  Part of the right to declare a community Dementia Friendly should include the fact that a significant and conspicuous number of its businesses have received training and been certified Dementia Friendly.  What might be considered a "significant" number is open to discussion, but it should be enough that it is conspicuous and talked about within the community. This may have more to do with aggressive marketing by business owners and DFA than it does with gross numbers.

This would suggest that "dementia friendly community" should not be defined by a quota of business that have participated, because it is unrealistic to believe that even a majority of the businesses will participate. Take note again of the fact that our county has possibly two or three-thousand eligible businesses.

What is an Eligible Business; Are Any Ineligible? :
Any business that has direct contact with the public within a mature demographic can benefit from Dementia Friendly training. In other words, there are categories of business, such as children's day care, that would be very unlikely to make use of or benefit from the training. These may be eligible, but not as a practical matter.

Generally, any business that serves or sells to an adult demographic can benefit from Dementia Friendly training.  However, the same may not be true in regard to Dementia Friendly "certification." For example, any businesses that sell vehicles or potentially hazardous products should probably not place a Dementia Friendly sticker on its door, which could be misunderstood to mean that it is encouraging people with dementia to buy its products.

From a service and legal standpoint, the owner of a motorcycle shop, automobile dealership, or firearms business can benefit from the training if it will help him avoid liability or a tragic mistake by unwittingly selling to someone with dementia, but he would still not want to advertise that the business is Dementia Friendly.

Not all restaurants are appropriate for Dementia Friendly training. If they are loud and provide overstimulation with music and television screens, they will not naturally attract the kind of clientele that will benefit from the training. Likewise, it is difficult to envision any bar that should advertise Dementia Friendly service.

Dementia Friendly Churches:
Experience has shown that churches can benefit from the same or similar Dementia Friendly training designed for businesses.  Religious institutions are a rich opportunity for Dementia Friendly training because most of them already have a "service culture" and well-organized outreach programs. Already catering to an older demographic, their members and leaders can easily understand the importance of a Dementia Friendly component in their ministry.

Guidelines for Dementia Friendly-appropriate Businesses:
Generally, Dementia Friendly training should be appropriate for the following:

  1. All churches.
  2. Civic organizations that have a mission related to elder care.
  3. Businesses that cater to a mature demographic. In this case, "mature" includes individuals 40 and up who may be caring for a parent or older sibling.
  4. Businesses that provide a quiet or low-stimulation environment.
  5. Businesses that trade "safe" products or services.

A Special Thank You to our Citrus County DFA Action Team:
April Zay – Citrus County Chronicle
Carolyn Reyes – Comfort Keepers
Gailen Spinka – Comfort Keepers
Joanna Castle – YMCA
Joanne Granger – Citrus County Senior Services
Tammy Slay – Superior Residences of Lecanto

The following businesses and churches have received training and been certified Dementia Friendly:

21st Century Oncology - Beverly Hills Office

21st Century Oncology - Ocala Office

Advanced Family Hearing Center

A.M. Yard & Maintenance
12230 S. Brierwood Pt.
Floral City, FL 34436

Aunt Marth'as Produce
7751 S Florida Ave.
Floral City, FL 34436

Brannen Bank-Floral City Branch
7478 S. Florida Avenue
Floral City, FL 34436

Cornerstone Baptist Church
1100 W. Highland Blvd.
Inverness, FL 34452

Covington Design Works Inc.
8212 E. Orange Avenue
Floral City, FL 34436

Crystal River United Methodist Church

First Baptist Church of Inverness

First Presbyterian Church of Inverness
206 Washington Ave.
Inverness, FL 34450

Floral City Heritage Museum
8394 E Orange Ave
Floral City, FL 34436

Floral City United Methodist Church
8478 E. Marvin Street
Floral City, FL 34436

Floral City Veterinary Hospital
8309 E Orange Ave
Floral City, FL 34436

Florida Artists Gallery
8219 Orange Ave.
Floral City, FL 34436

Good Shepard Lutheran Church

Head-To-Toe by Julie & Jo
7733 S Old Floral City Rd
Floral City, FL 34436

Hen House Café
206 Tompkins St
Inverness, FL 34450

Hope Evangelical Lutheran Church

Joi Ailes Sampseii-Artist
12230 S. Brierwood Pt.
Floral City, FL 34436

Justin Case Automotive Repair
5870 S Suncoast Blvd
Homosassa, FL 34446

Kim DeVane-Braker Associate,RE/ MAX Realty One
Address: 504 US-19
Crystal River, FL 34429

Kingsway of Beverly Hills
6150 N Lecanto Hwy
Beverly Hills, FL 34465

Lake Rousseau RV Resort

Lordco's Pack-Ship-Print,Inc.
1108 E. Inverness Blvd
Inverness, FL 34452

Mike Orlito-Broker Associate, RE/MAX Realty One
504 US-19
Crystal River, FL 34429

Opti-Mart, Inverness
2637 E. Gulf-to-Lake Hwy. Unit B-1
Inverness, FL 34453

Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church
6 Roosevelt Blvd
Beverly Hills, FL 34465

Raymond James & Associates Inc.
2101S.E. Highway 19
Crystal River, FL 34429

Red Brick Place
8305 East Orange Avenue
Floral City, FL 34436

Senior Helping Seniors Companion Services
Citrus 352-201-4035
Hernando & W. Pasco

St Paul's Lutheran Church
6150 N. Lecanto Hwy.
Beverly Hills, FL 34465

St. Margaret's Episcopal Church of Inverness

Tri-County Hearing Audiology & Hearing Aid Services Inc.
3519N. Lecanto .Hwy
Beverly Hills, FL 34465

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