Warm Hearth Village becomes first dementia-friendly business in Virginia

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BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ7)— Warm Hearth Village has reached its goal of becoming the first dementia-friendly business in the Commonwealth.

Dementia Friends is a global movement to understand and support people who live with dementia. Those that join have committed to helping others understand.

Over half of the staff has gone through the training to become Dementia Friends. They are also working on the residents and have policies in place to be a community leader for those impacted by the mental disorder.

“Those with dementia can become isolated, so when the community knows what to look for and how to support them, then it makes their lives so much easier," said Marie Swink, a social worker at the senior living center.

The nonprofit senior living community has been working to become dementia-friendly since February. Their next goal is to work on making Blacksburg a dementia-friendly town. They hope to do this within the next six months.

Warm Hearth Village has a support group for seniors learning to deal with Alzheimer's Disease. It's called The Memory Café and is held the last Thursday of each month from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Village Center.

They are scheduled to train Congressman Morgan Griffith's office on July 25 to become Dementia Friends and they are planning to train Senator Tim Kaine's office sometime in August.

The Alzheimer’s Association Support Group is held the second and fourth Thursday of each month at 3 p.m. for caregivers to offer support to one another. It is held at Warm Hearth's Village Center.