Dementia-friendly training improves customer service

Members of Dementia Friendly Southington and town staff visited the public library on Thursday, Sept. 19, to celebrate the library’s new designation—being the first organization in town that has undergone Dementia Friendly training.

“We all decided that we wanted to make sure that all of our employees—especially our first hand employees that handle customer service—are trained in Dementia Friendly, which in essence means we know how to service people who have dementia, which is very important,” said Mark Sciota, town manager. “There’s probably not a family in Southington that hasn’t been affected by dementia, mine included.”

Katy O’Leary, director of community development at LiveWell, 1261 S Main St., Plantsville, explained that Dementia Friendly Southington is an initiative designed to bring the community together, to aid residents in being “aware, inclusive, supportive of people affected by dementia.”

Part of this process includes training—not certifications, but rather designations—that gives an individual the knowledge to recognize signs of cognitive change, and the proper tools to aid and support their fellow Southington residents.