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January 6, 2021

“Dementia Friends” training offered Jan. 26

The free, one-hour virtual training will begin at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 26.
Aging Together will host a Jan. 26 online training seminar about providing support for people with dementia.

Available here, the free one-hour “Dementia Friends” certification will expand awareness and build skills for those who can help, said Ellen Phipps, executive director of the organization that serves five counties, including Fauquier.

“The more people we can encourage to become Dementia Friends, the more our community benefits,” Ms. Phipps said. “It’s not only about awareness, but about offering confidence to the general public so they aren’t hesitant when confronted with a situation where they may be able to help someone who is manifesting signs of dementia.

“If you know what to do, you are more likely to do it. At the same time, as a community builds its corps of Dementia Friends, the propensity for emergency situations or tragedy may be diminished, and that’s huge.”

> Video at bottom of story

Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March, almost 200 people in the region became Dementia Friends, a growing movement that started in the United Kingdom.

An estimated 5.8 million Americans 65 and older have Alzheimer’s, the most common type of dementia. Other forms include vascular dementia and those associated with Parkinson’s or Lewy Body disease.

“The possibility of encountering a person living with dementia is high,” Ms. Phipps said. “They go to the grocery store, the post office, the movie theater, places of worship. They walk in the park, downtown, and in their neighborhood. They dine out and shop for gifts. They stop in for a coffee. Sometimes their level of dementia is low and unnoticeable, or they could just be having a bad day where it’s more obvious.

“It can be common that they are with someone, but sometimes they are alone or get separated. They could be lost and don’t know what to do. Often a person living with dementia withdraws physically and mentally.”

Anyone can become a Dementia Friend.

“Everyone can learn to understand what tendencies someone living with dementia may exhibit and how to help them. You don’t even have to know anything about dementia to participate,” Ms. Phipps said. “But you will come out of it with a sense of empowerment and if we grow the number of Dementia Friends in our region, that empowerment becomes a huge force – a movement.”

The Dementia Friends certification session will begin at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 26. Click here to register.

Aging Together, through partnerships, works to connect people to communities and resources to improve quality of life as we age. In addition to Fauquier, the nonprofit organization serves Culpeper, Fauquier, Orange, Madison and Rappahannock.

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Sammy · January 8, 2021 at 4:53 am
yes, do more for seniors .. especially here .. but "illegals" are not the problem .. they actually pay more than they get back, taxed like everyone else but not paid the same benefits like social security .. in 2014 in Virginia net positive to the state was about a quarter-billion:
Savefauquiercounty2019 · January 7, 2021 at 5:50 pm
Seniors, pay attention. If you are on a fixed income, and need long term care Fauquier County has nothing avail. Not enough subsidized housing or assisted living. You will be forced to move. Learning about dementia should include a back up plan to exit the County. American elderly are getting screwed while illegals receive free medical care and education. It is unconstitutional to use our taxes for foreigners. Leaders in THEIR countries should be pursued.
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