Avon, Indiana March 16th, 2023 – Dementia has affected either yourself, someone you love or a close friend. According to alzhiemers.org.uk, there are an estimated 57.4 million people (about twice the population of Texas) living with dementia around the globe. It is estimated that the number will triple to over 150 million by 2050. We all have experienced it in one way or another, however, rarely does an entire Town Government staff and Parks and Recreation department place it as an important training for their teams. “The numbers for those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in increasing and this means our community members and their caregivers need us to understand more about what they are going through.” mentioned Helee Adkins, the Resource Development Coordinator for Hendricks County Senior Services (HCSS). “We love our community, and when we unite to understand more about what our neighbors and friends are going through and how we can help along the way, the stronger our community becomes.”
Desiring to provide the most for their residents, the Town of Avon Indiana and their Parks and Recreation department knew that obtaining the “Dementia Friends” Training was not only desired, but also needed as the Town grows. Spearheaded by the Parks Director, Shelby Marshall, with full support from Town Manager Ryan Cannon. “This training was important for the Town staff and Parks staff because we are public servants at heart, and we want to support all our residents.” stated Cannon. “Training like this gives our employees the tools they need to help our community, identify people in need and meet them wherever they are. It also just helps make our employees better both personally and professionally.”
Adkins shared “Dementia Friends was started in the UK and Indiana is the 10th state to take part in the movement. There are now 30 states and 60 countries sharing the Dementia Friends message across the globe. HCSS has been assigned by CICOA as the “headquarters” for all Dementia Friends classes and partners in Hendricks County. HCSS presents public workshops throughout the year at The Senior Center in Danville and participating libraries. We also hold private company-wide sessions like the one we held for the Avon Town Hall and Parks & Rec staff. The sticker they earned for the front door of the Town Hall is not taken lightly by DFI or HCSS. Avon is the first Town and Parks department in the state of Indiana to complete this requirement and we applaud their leadership.” More information about HCCS and their training opportunities can be found at hcseniors.org.