As a leader in Dementia Care education and support, Rappahannock Westminster-Canterbury (RWC) remains committed to develop a designated Dementia Friendly Community.
To enhance this endeavor, the retirement community has established a hotline to address caregiving issues and provide callers with local resources. The hotline number is 804-438-4892. RWC Dementia Care Coordinator Mary Arthur or other trained professionals answer calls daily from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. After hours, callers can leave a message, and their calls are returned within the next business day.
A Dementia Friendly Community supports continued independence for adults with dementia by looking at life through the eyes of a person with dementia. Local shop owners, restaurant, grocery store, and marketplace workers, as well as roadways, can be equipped to provide safe places for those with dementia to live more independently.
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.
According to the World Health Organization, as of September 2019, more than 50 million people are diagnosed with dementia worldwide and approximately 10 million cases are added every year. Dementia has affected many families in a very personal way.
RWC has developed the Memory Support Group to educate families about the disease, use the best practices to assist their loved ones and to support caregivers during this trying battle with the disease. Arthur has dedicated her life to helping those dealing with dementia and its effects. She and other trained Dementia Care staff will be able to assist those who need information and resources.
“I noticed that there is a lack of knowledge of resources about dementia,” Arthur said. “People don’t realize there is an Alzheimer’s Association in the Northern Neck. I will be providing local and national resources such as Memory support groups, educational programs, and resources for caregivers. I thought it would be a good way to provide ALL resources and families can choose what feels right for them at that time.”