PHOENIX–Mayor Kate Gallego today announced the next steps toward making Phoenix a Dementia Friendly City. This newest initiative will take place at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and involves specific training, and other options that will make it easier and more comfortable for people experiencing dementia – and their families and traveling companions – to travel through the airport.
The Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport’s dementia friendly initiative is set to launch Sept. 21, 2021.
Last year, Phoenix was among the first and largest cities to commit to joining Dementia Friendly America (DFA). The DFA program focuses on making everyday life easier to navigate for those affected by dementia. Changes at Sky Harbor include things like the Compassion Cacti™ Lanyard Program. The special lanyard, worn around the neck, identifies a traveler as a person who experiences dementia, making it easier for airport staff to recognize them and offer assistance. The lanyard also gives travelers the ability to enter new, quiet areas that offer minimal distractions – something that can help avoid the agitation and confusion that can present itself when a person experiencing dementia is away from home.
Additional changes include updated trainings for city employees about dementia care, and support programs that provide resources and aid to people with memory loss.
“Dementia Friendly America is a wonderful initiative that makes life easier for travelers affected by this disease,” said Mayor Kate Gallego. “There is no doubt the changes at Sky Harbor are critical to the safety and health of people experiencing dementia. Even more importantly, it recognizes that people experiencing dementia still want to travel to see family and experience new places. By making it easier, we have an unparalleled chance to help improve their quality of life.”
For more information about Sky Harbor initiatives, please contact skyharborPIO@phoenix.gov.