The Commission wishes to hear from families with dementia | Roanoke News

Members of the Virginia Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders Commission travel all over the state every four years to listen to suggestions on how to make life easier for people with dementia and those who care for them.

The hearing tour began on 8 April in Big Stone Gap and will finish Thursday in Roanoke, during sessions from 1 to 3 p.m. at West Virginia Community College Natural Science Center.

The commission will consider the recommendations and recommendations submitted in writing when making final changes to its four-year plan.

Lory Phillippo, chairman of the commission, said that the views are also helpful when they lobby state or federal officials for funds and policy changes.

Approximately 300,000 Virgin Virgins over 45 years of age are thought to have memory problems that have deteriorated over the past year. Alzheimer's disease diagnosis is estimated at 150,000 Virgo, 20,000 increase since the last plan was written.

The new plan aims to encourage communities to be dementia friendly and to change the language around the disease by substituting “a person with dementia” for “a person living with dementia” and calling “carers' care partners”.

The last thing happened was Loretta Stapleton, who said that she was looking after her mother before she died and that she is now caring for her mother-law.

“Originally a caretaker, then a carer. I can understand that because you do not want to give away from people. You want to give them. So this choice was much better, ”she said during the Cloughmore Gap meeting. “A care party? I am a little confused. Yes, we are in partnership with the person we are caring for, but often they cannot make decisions for themselves. ”

Stapleton said that the partners needed would come from support groups made by others. She wants to create partnerships with family members caring for relatives in the same stages of dementia.

Others also said that they would benefit from support groups and day care and respite care options.

“There's no place to go,” said Mitchell Elliot, who said his mother died two years ago after spending eight years of dementia.

“We brought my mother into my house. She was the quickest, nicest until the sun went down and changed from this gentle, gentle woman to be violent at times. It was so hard to understand. It was so difficult to handle, ”he said.

Elliot said that he eventually had to put his mother in a nursing home.

“It's time when you can't physically do it no matter what you love and want to look after them,” he said.

Others talked about the need for respite care and the difficulties families face in keeping jobs down.

Cheryl Henry, administrator of The Laurels, who retired and lives in Norton under the ownership of Free Baptist Family Ministries, said they had looked at an adult day care center but had too heavy regulations.

“The regulations are important because it can be misused by places. I understand why they are there, but it's hard, ”she said.

The Laurels is a residential program, costing around $ 3,500 per month, which is accessible to people without any state-assisted means or those with enough wealth to pay for private pay.

The middle income families are under pressure, she said.

Phillippo said after the session that care is given like the difficulties of paying for college. Some students qualify for financial assistance, others can afford any university in the country, and average income families must pack it together.

For further information on the Roanoke meeting, please contact Annette Clark, 632-0973 or

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