The announcement was made during County Executive Jan Gardner’s public briefing.
FREDERICK, MD. County Executive Jan Gardner announced Thursday, that the Senior Services Division has initiated the process for Frederick County to become certified as a “Dementia Friendly” community through Dementia Friendly America. This national initiative educates the public, supports families touched by Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, and promotes meaningful participation in community life.
“The new Senior Services Division is working hard to create a culture that embraces individuals with dementia,” Executive Gardner said. “Our goal is for everyone to live as independently as possible, for as long as possible, in the community they call home.”
Frederick County is leading the way by offering “Dementia Live” training to health care providers, caregivers and first responders about what a person with cognitive problems may be experiencing. Participants use specialized gear to simulate what it is like for someone with dementia to complete basic tasks. They experience sensory changes and confusion, which enable them to develop a deeper understanding of those living with dementia.
Over 400 first responders in the county’s Division of Fire & Rescue Services will receive Dementia Live training to experience the obstacles some of their patients must cope with. Dementia Live also is offered at the county-run senior centers. The next session is at the Brunswick Senior Center on May 23 from 10 a.m. – Noon. Other sessions will be held at the C. Burr Artz Public Library on June 6 from 6 – 8 p.m. and at the Myersville Town Hall on Aug. 3 from 9 a.m. – Noon. To register, call 301-600-6001.
In its first year, the Senior Services Division has implemented a wide range of programs and added valuable resources for seniors in Frederick County. A Virtual Learning Center offers an informative series of videos on tax credits and Medicare, a series of nutritional videos with easy-to-make recipes, and a section devoted to caregivers.
Executive Gardner also announced that starting Thursday, the division would offer a new, easy-to-remember phone number for Senior Services – 301-600-1234.