Marshfield Wisconsin: A Dementia Friendly Community


The Wisconsin Department of Health Services is encouraging cities across Wisconsin to become dementia friendly communities: A dementia-friendly community is a place where people living with dementia are supported to live a high quality of life with meaning, purpose and value. 

Dementia is a term for over 100 different medical conditions that impair memory, behavior, and thinking. The most common cause of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease; other types of dementia include Parkinson's disease, dementia with Lewy bodies, vascular dementia, and frontotemporal dementias including Pick's disease. About 150,000 people in Wisconsin have Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. 

Here in the greater Marshfield area there are over 1,000 people living with dementia; most are still living at home, either alone or with family caregivers. Many in the early stages of dementia lead independent lives; many still drive (or have access to a vehicle). They visit our health care facilities, businesses, shops, restaurants, organizations, churches, and parks. 

People with dementia deserve to remain active members of our community for as long as they are able and willing to do so, but they need more support and understanding. There are many negative attitudes about Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, as well as a stigma of shame and embarrassment associated with the disease.  Becoming more dementia aware and dementia friendly helps create environments where people with dementia feel welcomed and respected.

Marshfield joins the movement to become a dementia friendly community

"Marshfield strives to be a welcoming community to everyone and a place that our residents are proud to call home. This includes those who are suffering from or those caring for loved ones with dementia. Working toward being a dementia friendly community is one small way we can recognize the unique needs of those in our community that deal with memory loss by helping residents, business, and government officials understand the obstacles they face on a daily basis and work toward creating an environment that is supportive to their needs through training, assistance, and awareness." - Mayor Chris Meyer, City of Marshfield, as quoted in the Hub City Times, October 26, 2015. Read the full article here 



Marshfield businesses begin training to become dementia aware, dementia friendly

Marshfield Area Purple Angels volunteers have begun meeting with the management of Festival Foods to begin training as part of the Purple Angel Campaign. The purpose of the campaign is to provide free training for businesses, service providers, and community organizations on how to not only recognize the signs of dementia, but how to improve services for people with dementia, their families, and their caregivers. Festival Foods in Eau Claire has already completed training, becoming the first dementia-friendly grocery store in the area. (Click here to read an article and watch a video about it).

Festival Foods in Marshfield is planning to be the next dementia friendly grocery store in Wisconsin. More businesses are scheduled to begin training in November. Click here for a list of dementia friendly businesses in Marshfield.

A Tool Kit: Building Dementia-Friendly Communities

Wisconsin’s tool kit, Building Dementia-Friendly Communities provides information, resources, lessons learned, and the steps for building a dementia-friendly community. The tool kit is a collaborative effort between the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, the Alzheimer’s Association of Southeastern Wisconsin, AARP Wisconsin, and local communities throughout the state that have implemented dementia-friendly projects.

The tool kit is a resource guide for implementing and sustaining dementia-friendly community efforts that features several Wisconsin communities’ dementia-friendly programs. Specific sections include information for use by professionals, businesses, public health, families, and individuals with dementia, including resources and services available from Wisconsin organizations and programs. Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias are identified as chronic diseases to be addressed by local and state public health agencies as an increasing public health issue. Click here to download a free copy of the toolkit.


Marshfield Joins Purple Cities Alliance

Marshfield Wisconsin is proud to be one of a number of cities across the U.S. participating in the Purple Cities Alliance. The Purple Cities Alliance provides dementia education and training resources that enable community members and organizations to become more dementia friendly. Click here to learn more about the Purple Cities Alliance.