Leading Age Virginia CEO/President to speak at RWC

Dementia Friendly Communities is the topic for this free event

Herndon was the first town in Virginia to be designated a “Dementia Friendly Community.” Could Lancaster County be next? According to Melissa Andrews, CEO/President Leading Age Virginia, it is easier for smaller towns and counties to achieve the designation than big cities. She will talk about this and what it means to be a Dementia Friendly Community at Rappahannock Westminster-Canterbury at 10 a.m. on Nov. 13.

“The goal is to create an inclusive community for people living with dementia and their caregivers,” Andrews said. “The way you go about this is by pulling together an action team that includes local government, public servants, attorneys, bankers, first responders, etc. It’s also important that your team includes someone living with dementia or a caregiver.”

RWC Dementia Coordinator Mary Arthur invited Andrews to speak to RWC residents and the local community.

“Having someone enthusiastic about a Dementia Friendly Community makes all of the difference,” Andrews said. “With Mary’s leadership and passion, I’m not sure there’s anything she can’t accomplish!”

Techniques to create this kind of environment will be discussed. The idea is that when local leaders and the public become educated about dementia, those with dementia will be understood, accepted and less likely to become confused and isolated as their disease progresses.

“The important thing is that this is a community-wide initiative,” Andrews said. “A part of it is what you can do as an individual. Through DementiaFriendsVirginia.org, you can attend local information sessions to help you understand the small things you can do to make a difference for people living with dementia. No action is too small. Picking up someone with dementia and taking them to church is a great example.”

Andrews’ talk is free and open to the community. Lunch will follow the program. Seating is limited. Reserve a seat by calling 804-438-4175 or by emailing [email protected] by Nov. 8.

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