First Citizens Bank awarded Purple Angel for dementia awareness training

 From L to R: Nate Parrish, President – First Citizens State Bank; Penny Ardelt, Customer Service Supervisor – First Citizens State Bank; Eric Russow, Walworth County Aging Network;  Katie Nass, Loan Officer – First Citizens State Bank; Bernadette Russow, Walworth County Aging Network; Mary Lou Ward, AVP & Cashier- First Citizens State Bank.

The Whitewater Dementia Friendly Community Initiative (WDFCI) is proud to announce that the First Citizens Bank of Whitewater was awarded the Purple Angel on June 18th. This is the first business in Whitewater to achieve this honor. Katie Nass and Penny Ardelt of First Citizens, who spearheaded this effort, are trained and can help other businesses become Dementia Friendly. Nass became involved as a member of the Whitewater Dementia Friendly Community Initiative.

The Purple Angel is an international symbol which says employees have received dementia awareness training and are sensitive to customers and care partners who are affected by dementia or Alzheimer’s.

Dementia Friends is a global movement that is changing the way people think, act, and talk about dementia. Developed in the United Kingdom by the Alzheimer’s Association, it is now making its way across the United States. By helping everyone in a community understand what dementia is and how it affects families, each of us can make a difference for the people touched by dementia.

A Dementia Friendly Community is one that engages people with dementia, making them feel welcome and improving their quality of life while supporting their unique needs as well as the care partners and family members.

The community should know that this work is sponsored and supported by the Whitewater Dementia Friendly Community Initiative (WDFCI), the Walworth County Aging Network and assisted by the Alzheimer’s Association and the Dementia Friendly Community Initiative – Walworth County.

Supporting the Dementia Friendly Community are Memory Cafés. There is one in Whitewater on the second Monday of the month at the Irvin L. Young Library Community Room at 431 W. Center St. in Whitewater, at 10:30 am. First-time attendees are asked to call 800.272.3900 to register. You can also find Memory Cafés in Jefferson, Elkhorn, Lake Geneva, Delavan, and Janesville.

The WDFCI is also working to bring a twice a month respite site to Whitewater in the fall. This will allow care partners a break from caregiving and a fun day out for their partner. If you are a caregiver interested in a little “me” time please call 262-473-0535 for more information.

There are free training programs available for businesses, first responders, faith communities, and organizations. For additional information please contact Katie Nass at First Citizens Bank 262-473-1401 or or Deb Weberpal Seniors in the Park, 262-473-0535 or

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