Rappahannock Westminster-Canterbury (RWC) dementia coordinator Mary Arthur knows first-hand what it’s like to care for someone with dementia without proper support. Her grandmother had early-onset Alzheimer’s disease and at age 18 Arthur became her caregiver.
“All we did was argue,” said Arthur. “Now I know. I train people to better understand the disease and how to work with those living with dementia. I couldn’t make her end of life the best I could, but I can help others.”
Beginning February 14, Arthur will lead a Dementia Support Group at 1 p.m. on second Thursdays at the Mathews Memorial Library, 251 Main Street, Mathews.
After speaking to PATH, a consortium of about 80 Mathews neighbors whose mission is to support each other’s goal to age at home by sharing tasks and services, Arthur thought a support group would complement their efforts.
“A lot of people retire in this area and they may not have anyone else they know,” said Arthur.
RWC is committed to bringing the concept of a “Dementia Friendly Community” to the Northern Neck and beyond.
“I train staff on dementia care and how to approach it,” said Arthur. “I’ve conducted that training for RWC and the Lancaster Community Library staff. The goal is to create an inclusive community for people living with dementia and their caregivers.”