In response to the rapidly aging population in Northwestern Wisconsin, WITC-Superior faculty and staff will receive dementia-friendly business training on Tuesday, October 22 from 10:45 – 11:45. The participants learn how to create a dementia capable environment for all community members at the WITC-Superior campus.
The objectives for the training are to understand what dementia is, recognize the signs, learn strategies to communicate and learn about community resources. Out of the four campuses for WITC, Superior will be the first to be fully trained. Northwestern Wisconsin has one of the most rapidly aging populations in the state. These counties will be comprised of 30-50% older adults in the next 10-20 years. With an incidence of dementia around 50% by the time a person reaches 80-years-old, we will continually be affected by these debilitating diseases.
Jennifer Ellis, Program Director and Instructor of the Gerontology-Aging Services Professional Program at WITC shared that, “dementia affects us all at some point, personally or professionally. Our college environment is not exempt; our staff, faculty, and students may be family caregivers. Participants in our educational offerings such as the annual caregiver conference bring individuals and their care partners to our campus. It is crucial that we support all of our customers in ways that they find most beneficial.”
Trainers for the dementia-friendly business training will be Jennifer Ellis, WITC-Superior Gerontology-Aging Services Professional instructor, and Erika Johnson, Director of the Aging & Disability Resource Center-Douglas County.
In April of this year, students and instructors in the Cosmetology program also received dementia-friendly training for them to better assist their clients. Other businesses around Superior that have received the training is Harbor House, Superior Police and Fire Departments, Trends Day Spa and Salon, Happy Tails Animal Hospital and the Superior/Douglas County Chamber of Commerce.
Dementia-friendly business training is a partnership with the Douglas County Caregiver Coalition. The mission is to recognize all caregivers of older adults and empower them through support, education, advocacy and awareness of community services. If your business is interested in being dementia-friendly trained, contact Chelsea Thompson with ADRC-Douglas County at 715-395-1234.