Rachel Tierney, PhD, RN had a notable career in psychiatric-mental health nursing, but when her husband Jim was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, being a caregiver became personal. Rachel and Jim had been active and were well-known in the their community, the Town of Ludlow, so one day when he ventured out without her to the bank and became confused, they called to let her know where he was and that he was safe.
About two years ago when she heard about the Dementia Friendly Communities movement, she recognized an opportunity to formalize the support she felt back in her close knit community of Ludlow. Now a resident of Loomis Village, she mobilized The Loomis Communities Community Outreach Committee to involve the South Hadley community including business leaders, the town fire, police, council on aging and other departments to organize educational programs, support networks and training in South Hadley for those living with dementia and their caregivers. Since its inception, the Dementia Friendly Communities Coalition has held communication tips training for first responders, church groups, and clubs, organized caregiver educational programs led by the Alzheimer’s Association and WestMass Eldercare and created a website www.dementiafriendlycommunities.org and printed materials that provide community resources. Planning meetings are being organized in Holyoke with a goal of expanding to all of the towns and cities where a Loomis community is located. Rachel’s lifelong passion of caring for others continues to spark and inspire at Loomis Village and beyond.
Read an article recently published in the Hampshire Gazette about this effort.
About The Loomis Communities:
The Loomis Communities has been a visionary in exceptional senior living throughout the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts. It was the first organization in the state to open a continuing care retirement community.
With a mission of enriching the lives of older adults, The Loomis Communities offers independent living apartments and cottages, assisted living and skilled nursing care on three campuses in the Pioneer Valley: Applewood in Amherst, Loomis Lakeside at Reeds Landing in Springfield, and Loomis Village in South Hadley.
For more information, call us.