ALEXANDRIA, Va. (WDVM)– The Mayor of Alexandria has announced that the city is dementia friendly. One organization strives to make steps to make sure this is possible.
Jackie Barbarito, Assistant Living Administrator at Goodwin House said, “Every 65 seconds someone in the United States is diagnosed with dementia and that number is going to increase, in two years it may be every 45 seconds and our population is aging there living longer so the likelyhood of them having dementia and being out in the community is really high.”
Dementia can be a shock to those who don’t know how to handle the disease.
Dementia Friendly Alexandria is an initiative led by Goodwin House and The Commission on aging. Its a multi sector approach to educate the public on dementia to support those living with dementia and there caregivers said Barbarito.
Dementia Friendly Partners with local government officials , non profit organizations and the Alexandria Police Department giving members training on how to properly care for those living with dementia.
Misti Battle, Sergeant for Alexandria Police Department said, “Communicating with someone living with dementia it can take them 20-90 seconds to respond to a simple question so something as simple as whats your name? whats your favorite color? there may be an extensive delay in there response and so what we try to do is show our officers how they can tailor there response to be more inclusive and more sensitive with people dealing with dementia.”
According to officials when you approach someone with dementia its important to stand directly infront of them to not be in there peripheral due to loss of peripheral vision.
Those who have participated in a certain amount of educational sessions are given the title of dementia champions.