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St. Albans continues effort to become West Virginia's first dementia-friendly city

The city of St. Albans took a big step in becoming a dementia-friendly city Saturday. (WCHS/WVAH)

The city of St. Albans took a big step in becoming a dementia-friendly city Saturday.

Many people said they walked away from St. Albans dementia-friendly event Saturday feeling less alone. The event was aimed at getting out more than just information, but telling people about the city's new initiative.

"Sometimes they think you're a stranger, it’s heart wrenching and can have a toll on you,” Todd Derry said.

Derry is watching his mom fight the battle against Alzheimer. He was among more than 75 people who asked questions to a panel of dementia experts at the Hansford Center in St. Albans.

Saturday’s event was part of St. Albans push to become a dementia-friendly city. City leaders said they are in the important phase of the process in getting people in the database and handing out stickers that will help first responders.

"It just allows first responders here in the St. Albans to look and if the see the sticker they'll know what they are dealing with," St. Albans Vice Mayor Walter Hall said. “We can treat them quicker, sooner and safe.”

Caregivers can simply fill out a confidential form and the stickers go inside the home. Hall said the database will be extremely helpful to people living on their own.

"When a first responder arrives at the residence from a 911 call they don't have to search for a phone number for a caregiver they can go to the location and know immediately what we are dealing with and our database with information will then get in touch with a loved one,” Hall said.

Derry said this database will help with the care of his mother.

Hall said becoming a dementia-friendly city will not costs tax payers anything and once the process is complete, St. Albans will be the first dementia-friendly city in West Virginia.

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