Dementia Project Trains Nearly 900 People from 75 Local Businesses

Initiative leads nation in educating “Main Street” about dementia


Chapel Hill, NC -- (ReleaseWire) -- 02/01/2018 --Dementia Friendly Orange County (DFOC) announced that it has trained 889 people from 75 businesses and community organizations. While there are many similar grass roots efforts across the US, DFOC believes it is unique in the tremendous response it has received in this community.

DFOC helps local businesses to understand what dementia is, how it occurs and how it affects the lives of those who have it. It offers strategies that salespeople can use to better serve customers who may have dementia. Businesses that complete training get a Dementia Friendly business sticker for their door and recognition in local media.

The Dementia Friendly movement began in the UK and has since spread to many countries around the world. Dementia Friendly Orange County began in 2015 with seed funding from the East Chapel Hill Rotary Club combined with resources from the Orange County Department on Aging.

Marie Dagger, DFOC project coordinator, commented, "There are millions of people in the US with dementia. Many of them live independently, and want to continue to do so for as long as possible. Our training makes for a more understanding community that helps these folks get through their daily activities. While many towns have launched dementia friendly programs, to our knowledge, none have trained as many businesses as we have."

Rob Maitland, an attorney whose firm went through the training, observed, "We found the training to be incredibly valuable. It helped us understand the challenges that our senior clients might have, as well as issues that younger clients are going through with their parents." He continued, "Dementia is a disability that you can't see. If someone comes into your business on crutches, you know that they have limited mobility and you adjust. With dementia, there are things they cannot do, but you can't see it right away. That's where the training helps."

About DFOC
Based in Chapel Hill, NC, DFOC is a partnership between the East Chapel Hill Rotary Club,, and the Orange County Department on Aging,

More information is available at