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Fund established to make the Fox Cities more dementia friendly

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Posted at 6:06 PM, Jul 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-16 13:28:11-04

APPLETON, Wis — A fund just established in the Fox Cities would give non-profits an opportunity to better inform the public in how to communicate with those and work with those suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s.

In 2009, Walt Zerrenner's wife was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

"We continued doing the things we could do together,” said Walt, “Even though we couldn't do many of the things we planned to do together."

Walt came to the realization that many in his Fox Valley community didn't know how to treat folks with Alzheimer’s. He wanted to help change that.

"There are resources out there and I encourage everybody don't go this journey alone,” said Walt. “Find the resources and get the help that you need."

Recently, Walt started a fund with the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region. $10,000 has now been made available to non-profits who are looking to better understand dementia through training and for those who want to inform this community how to best deal and cope with it.

"He's supporting care givers and those with dementia and in particular non-profits that provide opportunities to get local funding for their initiative," said Megan Mulholland.

Megan Mulholland with the Community Foundation says it could be an opportunity for non-profits to both train and inform their community on how to better communicate with folks with dementia and their care givers.

"This fund would support non-profits that are looking to help create a dementia-friendly community,” said Megan. “So, it could be a memory café, maybe they bring in a special speaker or provide food, or even if there is rental costs, so this could help offset some of that stuff."

"Anybody who comes in contact with somebody with dementia and their caregiver that's who our target audience is," said Walt.

If you would like to find out if a non-profit you work with in the Fox Cities could utilize some of the funding to make your community more dementia friendly, check out this link to be directed to the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region or you can call them directly at 920-830-1290.