On Sept. 28, Bacoa is introducing a dementia-friendly initiative to educate Barrington area residents and improve the ability of caregivers to support their loved ones at home.

A major goal is to overcome the societal stigma associated with dementia, most commonly Alzheimer’s disease.

The risk of developing dementia — the loss of memory, language and other thinking abilities to the extent they interfere with a person’s daily life — doubles every five years after the age of 65.

In 2021, Bacoa formed a committee of local governments, health care organizations, businesses and first responders to address the various challenges and opportunities posed by this phenomenon.

From 1-2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 28, this committee will introduce their Dementia Friendly Barrington Area (DFBA) initiative at the Barrington Area Library. Informative presentations, including “Dementia Conversations” led by local representatives of the Alzheimer’s Association, will be featured.

“It is important that people know Dementia Friendly Barrington Area is a community effort. We want to work with community members to make the Barrington area more welcoming, inclusive, and supportive of the caregivers who do so much for their loved ones,” said Terri Channer, Bacoa’s executive director.

The DFBA initiative will build on Bacoa’s existing memory programs, like its adult day respite and Memory Café programs. However, benefits will not be exclusive to Bacoa clients.

Utilizing new and existing partnerships, the organization plans to provide resources like free medical ID bracelets and “Dementia Readiness” training, so people living with dementia can continue to be active members of their community.

The Bacoa initiative stems from “Dementia Friendly America,” a nationwide organization whose online tool kits and training materials help individuals and communities become dementia friendly.

For information on DFBA training, resources and community events, or to register for the Sept. 28 “Introducing Dementia Friendly Barrington Area” event at the Barrington Area Library, call (847) 381-5030 or visit www.bacoa.org.