Each year the Blacksburg AARP Chapter gives funds to charitable groups and has granted Warm Hearth Village (WHV) $300 for its Dementia Friends Program. WHV was the first certified dementia friendly business in Virginia. Blacksburg AARP Chapter President Jerry Niles presented the grant to Marie Swink, WHV Social Worker on December 10, during the AARP holiday luncheon.
WHV serves many seniors who are impacted by dementia, and strives to be a community leader in terms of advocacy and resources. Part of their advocacy is helping residents, staff and the community better understand and care for those with the disease. The Dementia Friendly Task Force, whose mission is to “Transform the New River Valley into a supportive and inclusive place where people with dementia can thrive” is actively working to make the Town of Blacksburg a Dementia Friendly Community. “There are over 3,000 Dementia Friends in Virginia,” Swink said.
WHV has several opportunities for residents and the public to support each other. Their Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support Group is held every other Friday and the Memory Café is held the last Thursday of each month, at the Village Center. Both provide a safe and welcoming environment for people with early Alzheimer’s, their family and friends to socialize and support each other. In addition, WHV is also hosting a Parkinson’s Support Group the first Thursday of every month.
If you would like to receive more information on Dementia Friends Information Sessions for your business or community group, contact Marie Swink at (540) 443-3449.