RWC’s Housekeeping Department Completes Dementia Friend Training

All 27 Staff Members Received Certification Recently

Shown here are RWC housekeeping staff members (front row, left to right): Edna Adams, Susan Blake, Vevelyn Waters, Helen Ball, Tina Tiggle and Cheryl Owens; (second row) Tonya Hill (manager), Farrah Blue, Isabella Yerby, Connie Wonson, Karen Barnes, Paulette Scott, Laura Carter, Elaine Noel and Linda Sar; and (back row) Pam Parker, Myrtle Thompson, Doristina Reese, Lankford Lee, Teresa Robinson, Cheryl Veney, Angela Seldon, Brenda Ball and Patricia Butler. Not pictured: Shirley Doublin, Cherry Wildy and Vice President of Operations Phil Williams.

After hearing Melissa Andrews, CEO/President LeadingAge Virginia, speak at Rappahannock Westminster-Canterbury last November about what it means to be a Dementia Friendly Community, RWC Housekeeping Manager Tonya Hill was inspired.

“She stepped up and said she wanted the housekeeping staff to go through ‘Dementia Friend’ training,” said RWC Dementia Coordinator Mary Arthur. “All 27 staff members recently completed the training. They really care about our residents.”

The idea is that when a community becomes educated about dementia, those with dementia will be understood, accepted and less likely to become confused and isolated as their disease progresses.

“Housekeepers are the RWC staff members who see our residents the most,” Arthur said. “If they see someone struggling with dementia, they are now better prepared to identify it and to notify me or the nursing staff about what they are seeing,” Arthur said.

Arthur is holding one-hour training sessions for other members of the community to become “Dementia Friends.” The next session will be at 1 p.m. March 28 at Lancaster Community Library. It is free and open to the community.

Local training sessions help community members understand the small things they can do to make a difference for people living with dementia such as checking in on someone or taking them to church.

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