Local retirement facility highlighted as first dementia friendly business in Commonwealth


Warm Hearth resident Vivian Long and medical service provider Amanda Procaccio

BLACKSBURG, Va. (WFXR) — Warm Hearth Village has earned recognition from Dementia Friends as the first dementia friendly business in Virginia.

Warm Hearth Village is a nonprofit senior living community that provides a variety of living options both on site and within the home.

Dementia Friends is a movement, started by the Alzheimer’s Society in the United Kingdom, designed to educate people about dementia.

“What an incredible accomplishment for Warm Hearth Village, their staff, volunteers, board and residents. This success is a testament to their leadership and the organization’s commitment to those they serve,” says Melissa Andrews, LeadingAge Virginia’s President and CEO.

To qualify for this recognition, a business must meet the following requirements:

  • Dementia Friends information sessions are included in all new employee orientation sessions
  • 50% of employees have become Dementia Friends
  • All Board Members must become Dementia Friends in July
  • The organization is 1/3 of the way toward a minimum of 50% of its Independent Residents becoming Dementia Friends
  • All incoming volunteers are becoming Dementia Friends and 100% of existing volunteers will also do so
  • The Senior Management team has become Dementia Friends
  • Dementia Friends information sessions and refresher sessions are added to annual staff information sessions
  • The education department will review information annually to assess for changes and consider improvements
  • The Continuous Quality Improvement Committee will produce a document highlighting the multiple ways in which Warm Hearth supports employee caregivers and provide that document to the staff

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