In 2017, Mayor Bynum committed to designating Tulsa as a dementia friendly community – the first city in Oklahoma to do so. Dementia Friendly Tulsa is an independent, nonprofit initiative. The volunteer-driven effort – part of Dementia Friendly America – provides information and programs that help Tulsans implement simple, proven best practices that foster livability and vitality.
Dementia Friendly Tulsa’s resources and tools, which are tailored for specific community sectors, especially benefit the growing number of people living with dementia and other cognitive impairments. Social stigma and lack of public awareness often makes life difficult for those living with dementia, as well as for their families and caregivers.
As a dementia friendly city, Tulsa seeks to enhance access, awareness and inclusion so those with dementia can be socially and financially engaged in the community for as long as possible.
The program’s desired outcomes include: improved quality of life, reduced stigma, minimized fraud and abuse, encouragement of earlier diagnosis, and advanced planning for support and care needs for those with dementia.
The growing number of Baby Boomers in the U.S. – those born between 1946 and 1964 – are prime candidates for dementia. Tulsa expects to see a growth wave in its Boomer generation during the coming three decades. Dementia, however, is not limited to older generations. More than 200,000 people in the U.S. as young as age 30 are diagnosed with Younger Onset Alzheimer’s.
From 60 percent to 80 percent of all dementia is Alzheimer’s, a degenerative and always fatal disease. Yet, Alzheimer’s progressive impact on cognitive skills can take from four to 20 years. That means those with dementia are able to shop, participate in community activities, worship, play, handle business transactions, and enjoy fairly full social lives for much longer than society acknowledges.
The Dementia Friendly Tulsa initiative chips away at the social isolation people with dementia experience. It encourages respectful inclusion, access, and engagement across all community sectors. It is a means to transform Tulsa through understanding and compassion from all in our community.
Dementia Friendly America
Dementia Friendly America is a multi-sector, national collaborative of leading organizations that are catalyzing a movement across the United States to improve opportunities and outcomes for a growing number of people with dementia, their families and care partners. Dementia Friendly America online