Watertown aims to become dementia-friendly city

CREATED Oct. 21, 2013

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A southeastern Wisconsin city is aiming to become a dementia-friendly community.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports the effort for Watertown is being initiated by Jan Zimmerman, is a nurse and administrator of a local assisted living center.

She wants Watertown to be a community where residents are educated about dementia, business owners are trained to assist customers with memory loss, and people with dementia remain independent for as long as possible.

Lori La Bey, executive director of Alzheimer's Speaks, an advocacy group in St. Paul, Minn., says she thinks Watertown would be the first dementia-friendly community in the nation. She says the concept has taken off in the United Kingdom.

The effort's first meeting is set for Nov. 14. Zimmerman hopes to make it a regularly meeting.

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Information from: Wisconsin State Journal, http://www.madison.com/wsj