Critter Corner: Two New Virginia Resources for Loved Ones with Dementia

Dear Angel,

My father was just diagnosed with dementia. He will be moving in with my family and me in our Northern Virginia home. What are some resources that are available in the area and/or state to help us as caregivers, and to help my father with his new diagnosis.

Thanks for your help,

Rhys Sorsis


Dear Rhys,

There are a couple new resources available for loved ones with dementia and their caregivers in Virginia.

The Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services Office for Aging Services recently released a new resource on dementia services in Virginia, called the “Dementia Road Map: A Guide for People Impacted by Dementia.” It’s a stage-by-stage guide to navigate questions about what to expect and action steps to take at each stage of the disease. It also includes a comprehensive list of resources.

At each stage, the Road Map answers  questions about what you should expect and what you should do. The Road Map also has information on self-care for caregivers, information about the different types of dementia, as well as a comprehensive list of other resources addressing issues such as driving, legal and financial planning, and long-term care services and supports. The Road Map is a valuable tool for families such as yours as you navigate changes to memory and thinking skills. You can download the Road Map pdf here.

Dementia Safety Information Toolkit: Safety Concerns for People with Dementia

Dementia affects each person differently, but symptoms typically include increasing memory loss, confusion, and disorientation. Changes in the brain can also impact how individuals interpret what they see, hear, feel, taste, or smell, and their sense of time, place, and judgment – each of which can impact safety.

The best environment for a person with memory loss or dementia is one that helps them feel as independent and supported as possible. For people with dementia who are aging in place, it’s important to find the right balance between independence and safety – and to anticipate changes. It’s certainly possible to make adaptations that make the home safer and less stressful for everyone.

The Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services released the Dementia Safety Information Toolkit as a resource for family members and caregivers to assist in evaluating the home and taking steps to promote safety over the course of a loved one’s dementia. Materials highlight information and tips related to the following areas:

  • Home Safety
  • Falls Prevention
  • Driving
  • Wandering
  • Emergency Preparedness
  • Elder Abuse & Financial Exploitation

Click here to access this helpful resource.

Additional Resources

The Virginia Alzheimer’s Disease AlzPossible Initiative (VACAPI) also offers lots of helpful resources on its website and so does The University of Virginia and the Insight Memory Care Center. In Maryland, check out Montgomery County’s Dementia Friendly Initiative. In DC, visit the DC Support Link Network of Care website.  Please also visit our blog for resources and articles here.

Plan in Advance for Your Loved One with Dementia

For those dealing with a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or any other form of dementia, there will likely come a time when your loved one will need more care and support than you can provide in your home. Be sure to make an appointment for an initial consultation with Mr. Farr to plan for this eventuality in advance.




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About Renee Eder

Renee Eder is the Director of Public Relations for the Farr Law Firm, and gives the voice to the Critters of Critter Corner. Renee’s poodle, Penny, is an official comfort dog who she and her children bring to visit with seniors who are in the early stages of dementia at a local senior home once a month.