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32-10 december 2012 advent recital3

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  • Aging Together supports the reammoendctions laid out in the Dementia State Plan, especially the collaborative aspect. We have seen this model result in significant improvements in services and community life for older adults and their caregivers when utilized in our region.Aging Together has replicated the work detailed in Goal III (Increase Awareness & Create Dementia Specific Training) and has found law enforcement and first responders to be especially responsive to education about dementia. We recommend this objective also include collaboration across the identified groups to help develop effective strategies toward supporting older adults with dementia and preventing abuse or neglect of these vulnerable Virginians. We also note that the faith community is not specifically referenced in the report, especially as a support to family caregivers and as part of the network that can effectively disseminate information to caregivers and older adults. The section addressing Dementia Specific Training should include an emphasis on training family caregivers. Hands on training using local resources for family caregivers has become a regular event in our region and is widely praised and utilized by family members. It has been an extremely affordable option when developed through collaborations among community resources. Aging Together is willing to share this model with other communities. We support the objective in Goal III regarding linking caregivers and people with dementia to information and services in rural communities. Implementation in these areas needs to take into account the differences between rural and urban Virginia. Even within rural communities there are wide discrepancies and personalities across localities. Aging Together has learned through our model that work can be done successfully on a local and a regional basis concurrently. Using this dual focus encourages buy in and engagement leading to more effective strategies and ultimately more genuine participation. Aging Together supports VDA as essential to creating more awareness of dementia in Virginia. We encourage building a broad stakeholder base, including the membership of the Commission. Goals and objectives fostering proactive, evidenced practices in care transitions across a variety of settings could be strengthened. We also recommend consideration of language and practices that reference and promote significant culture change including community based service delivery and person centered planning and service delivery. Thank you for the opportunity to comment on this plan. Aging Together offers our assistance in advocacy for and implementation of the plan as you move forward.

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