Free program offers information on how to become a “Dementia Friend”

Learning more about dementia and how to provide support to those living with it is the goal of a free program offered by the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at Penn State York. The program, which helps participants become a “Dementia Friend,” is set for June 21 at 1 p.m. in the conference center of the Main Classroom Building at Penn State York.

“OLLI has a committee called For Mature Audiences Only (FMAO), and their goal is to change the narrative around age and combat ageism,” said Jennifer Geubtner-May, director of OLLI at Penn State York. “The Dementia Friends presentation was chosen by FMAO to raise awareness and understanding, so that people living with dementia can continue to live productive and happy lives. The date, June 21, was chosen because it is The Longest Day, as recognized by the Alzheimer’s Association.”

The Longest Day is an Alzheimer’s Association effort to raise awareness and funds with participants the world over fighting the darkness the disease brings, according to the association’s website. The summer solstice was selected because, as the association says, “The day with the most light is the day we fight.”

The Longest Day presentation features Kimberly Korge, memory support coordinator at Cross Keys Village, in Hanover. She has worked as part of the memory care team since 2016.

During this interactive session, participants will learn about becoming a Dementia Friend. Korge will discuss what it is like to live with dementia and then encourage participants to turn that understanding into action. Actions to support those with dementia can range from promoting The Longest Day program to visiting someone who is living with dementia.

Registration is required for this event.