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KHCPL OFFERS FREE IN CASE OF EMERGENCY STICKERS FOR THOSE WITH DEMENTIA

As part of the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library’s More than a Memory project, funded by the Community Foundation of Howard County, we’re offering free stickers to alert emergency responders so they know someone inside a residence is a person living with dementia.

“There are 20,719 people 65 and older in Howard County and, statistically, 8.8 percent of those 65 and older have dementia,” said Lisa Fipps, KHCPL Director of Marketing and More Than a Memory coordinator. “That means at least 1,823 people in our community live with dementia. And, like all residents, there will be times when they need emergency responders, whether it be because of a fall, break-in, fire, etc. Interacting with a person living with dementia has unique challenges. First responders are trained on how to interact with people living with dementia; however, when entering a home during an emergency, they have no idea if someone inside is a person living with dementia. Until now. This sticker alerts first responders.”

The stickers are FREE and are available at the Reference Desk at all KHCPL locations and on the bookmobiles. Simply ask for one or more. It’s good to have one on each door and window, including a patio door. Before applying the sticker to a door or window, write on it the name of the person living with dementia. It's best to use a permanent marker. “The sticker speaks for the person with dementia when he or she or the caregiver cannot,” Fipps said.

“There is one caveat,” Fipps said. “Keep in mind that there are people who might see the sticker and then try to target the person living with dementia for a scam. This is especially true if the person living with dementia lives alone. However, we think the benefit outweighs the risk, especially since most people living with dementia live with caregivers, because as the disease progresses it makes independent living unsafe. Do what’s best for your loved one.”