Smith spoke about her husband’s experience with dementia at a press conference celebrating a $900,000 federal grant that will fund Orange County’s Dementia-Friendly community initiative.
The initiative, which is the first in the state, aims to better the quality of life for dementia patients by increasing awareness, sensitivity and community inclusion for those who have Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia-related diseases.
“I don’t believe anyone quite understands the magnitude of this award,” said Mark Hensley, an Alzheimer’s support specialist. “Orange County has received one of only a handful of grants supporting change in the community to become dementia-friendly.”
Smith said she never thought she would be an advocate for dementia-awareness until her husband was diagnosed in 2007.