Dementia Friendly Saline began in 2019 as a grassroots initiative intended to make Saline a safe, welcoming and respectful place for persons living with dementia and their care partners.
In 2023, almost seven million people are living with some form of dementia, and it is estimated that as many as 70% of them live in their own homes and shop, dine, and bank out in the community. Yet there is a real lack of awareness and education about dementia, which makes navigating the world with dementia a lot harder. If Dementia Friendly Saline can ease that journey for even one person, then we’ve achieved our goal.
Our three main offerings at this time are the twice-monthly "Come As You Are" Memory Café, the monthly Dementia Friendly Day at the Movies, and the free Dementia Friendly educational workshops. We would love to see you there, or to create an informational workshop tailored to your business or organization. Contact us today for more information.
Dementia Friendly Saline is not alone! Check out dfamerica.org.
We are supported in part by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation.
"Our mission is to help persons with dementia live in our community with less difficulty and more dignity."
Meet the Team
Founder, Director, & Care Partner
Jim's 35-year first career as founder and owner of a successful nationwide consulting firm in no way prepared him for his second, and far more important, career as caregiver for his wife, who has been living with Younger Onset Alzheimer’s since 2008.
Jim is an active volunteer educator for Alzheimer’s Association, teaching classes on dementia and caregiving topics to diverse groups around Michigan. He developed and led the 12-week In This Together-Dementia Awareness lecture series at Holy Faith Church in 2019, which led him and friends to set up Dementia Friendly Saline, which led to Saline being the only nationally ecognized Dementia Friendly Community in Michigan with a trained and committed dementia friendly city government.
Since then, his diverse dementia awareness and activism efforts - inspired, as he says, by his wife's grace on her journey in dementia - have been recognized by The Alzheimer's Association (Volunteer of the Year), Detroit's Hannan Center (Changemaker Award), Saline Chamber of Commerce (Visionary of the Year) and Leading Age Michigan (Volunteer of the Year). Confronted with the evidence, Jim says he is grateful for the ability to be of some help to at least a few people.
Founding Member, Memory Café Coordinator and Care Partner
After retiring at a relatively young age from the clinical research side of the pharmaceutical/biotech industry, Lori hoped to get involved in a variety of volunteer opportunities. She did not anticipate the fork in the road that brought her on the dementia journey: her husband’s initial diagnosis in early 2018.
However, Lori is embracing her role as care partner for her husband and community volunteer with the various events and activities of Dementia Friendly Saline, particularly the “Come As You Are” Memory Café. What would life be without new challenges every day?!
Chelsea came onboard as the first paid staff member of Dementia Friendly Saline in March of 2023. Her former roles as a Client Care Manager for an in-home care company and full-time caregiver to her parents during their battles with cancer developed her passion for patient advocacy, particularly in older adults. “So often people tend to forget that the person living with dementia, or any disease, is just that: a person. The same person that they always were, deserving of the same respect, dignity, and honesty.”
Chelsea spends most of her working hours just trying to keep up with Jim. In her free time, she enjoys gardening, watching football (Go Chiefs!) and spending time with her husband, stepson, and German Shepherd.
Caregiver Companions Program Coordinator
Education Outreach Coordinator
Core Community Volunteer Crew
Left to right: Tom Venable, Elka Dozier, Chris Rochman, Al Palmer