Across the state of Wisconsin, there are approximately 120,000 people living with dementia. Older adults with Alzheimer's disease or other dementias often experience anxiety, agitation, or anger and in emergency situations these symptoms can heighten.
To assist in emergencies or high stress situations, the Dementia Friendly Community Coalition (DFCC) has created comfort bags that contain sensory items that help to calm and distract those living with dementia during stressful situations. The bags also include a caregiver packet with helpful information on local resources.
The comfort bags are available for hospitals, clinics, fire fighters, rescue squads, law enforcement, and other organizations throughout Marinette County to use when the need arises.
"I had a gentleman come to our agency for an appointment with his wife who was acting fidgeting and a little anxious. I offered him a comfort bag and when she laid her eyes on the cat she fell in love. She was smiling and petting the cat. She was calm and could not stop smiling. A few weeks later the gentleman came back to our agency just to ask if he could buy another cat. We only had a dog left and he was so excited to have the dog instead due to her son having a dog and she wanted one. I watched the gentleman give the dog to his wife. She responded with a huge smile, " Now I have my own!" The gentleman looked at me and stated, " Look how happy you made my wife." He continued to thank me and even wanted to pay me. So much happiness in that morning it brought tears to my eyes."
-Nikki Grutza, Office Assistant at Marinette County Elderly Services
For more information on this project, please call 715-732-3850