On January 31, The Alzheimer's Advocacy Team and board members from Warm Hearth Village hosted Congressman Morgan Griffith to share experiences and their vision for helping seniors throughout the New River Valley with Alzheimer's Disease and dementia. Heather Gearhart, Warm Hearth’s V.P of Health & Wellness and Volunteer Ambassador for the Alzheimer Association, thanked the Congressman for his support of the BOLD Act, asked him to get behind The PCHETA Act and to consider the Congressional Task Force for Alzheimer’s research. The team talked about the growing numbers of seniors affected by this disease and the impact it has both financially and on community resources. They relayed Warm Hearth’s desire to be a leader among providers as these numbers are expected to spike with the aging of the Baby Boom generation.
Michelle Narramore, Administrator for Warm Hearth at Home shared some of the innovative programs on the team’s to do list and they include:
- · The Memory Café – a safe and welcoming environment for seniors learning to deal with Alzheimer’s Disease is held the last Thursday of every month from 1:30 to 2:30 pm at the Village Center. Laura Peery, Social Worker at the Kroontje Health Care Center (KHCC) and Dementia Friends Champion, is overseeing the group. “Members of the group share experiences and coping mechanisms and offer support to one another, which has proven to be highly effective in helping them maintain normalcy in their day to day lives,” she said.
- · The Purple Table – an effort to create space at local restaurants where staff are trained to create the same welcoming environment and how to work with seniors with dementia.
- · Dementia Friends – involves being a resource for our community by reaching out to educate business owners, volunteers, family, students…anyone about the issues surrounding dementia and how to support those in our community with the disease.
- · Alzheimer’s Association Support Group – held the second and fourth Thursday of every month at 3 pm at Warm Hearth’s Village Center. “This group is a judgement free space where caregivers can lean on each other for support and gain insight from one another with the hope that they will learn new strategies to help with their loved ones,” said, Marie Swink, Social Worker at KHCC.
The Memory Café and support group are open to the public and we welcome them to join. Warm Hearth Village is a nonprofit senior living community in Blacksburg that provides a full continuum of living options on our campus and in the home.
Photo: Left to right: Row 1 Hing-Har Lo, Elaine Smith, Ferne Moschella, Heather Gearhart. Row 2: Jonathan Tate, Michelle Narramore, Congressman Morgan Griffith, Amy Webb and Ed Lawhorn