Dementia Resources & Information

This page includes: Photo of woman comforting concerned man

  • An overview of dementia and the services available at DARS
  • A list of organizations that provide home and community based services for persons with dementia and their caregivers
  • Links to organizations that have educational and training materials on dementia and brain health
  • Grant funding opportunities with an emphasis on funders in Virginia
  • Data sources on dementia, demographics, and health

Please feel free to contact George Worthington, Dementia Services Coordinator, 804-662- 9154, if you seek additional information or resources.


Dementia is a term used to refer to a collection of neurodegenerative diseases, which affect cognitive abilities and memory. These neurodegenerative diseases include Alzheimer's disease, frontotemporal dementia, vascular dementia, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, dementia caused by Huntington's disease, dementia caused by Parkinson's disease, alcohol-induced persisting dementia, and Lewy body dementia. Of these neurodegenerative diseases, Alzheimer's disease is the most common. Often individuals are affected by two or more forms of dementia. Over time individuals with a form of dementia experience changes in memory, thought, navigation, language, behavior, mood and personality. Memory issues should be assessed by a healthcare provider and other potential causes ruled out before a formal diagnosis is made.

Behavioral changes observed during the onset of a form of dementia can include poor judgment, difficulty with problem solving, inability to manage finances, misplacing items, and disconnection from the date or season. Risk of developing a form of dementia increases with age, therefore older adults aged 65 and older experience the highest prevalence. A small percentage of individuals are diagnosed before the age of 65 and this is recognized as early-onset Alzheimer's disease. Forms of dementia disproportionately affect women, and members of the African American and Hispanic communities. Due to the debilitating nature of these diseases formal and/or informal caregiving is required to assist with activities such as meal preparation, taking medications, housework, money management and eventually eating, toileting, and bathing. The progression of these diseases can be rapid or slow depending on the individual and their diagnosis.


Dementia Services at DARS

The Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services is the lead agency for dementia-related activities in the Commonwealth ( § 51.5-152 ). Dementia Services provides assistance across the Commonwealth to persons with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia, and their caregivers. The primary role of Dementia Services is to monitor the development and implementation of Virginia's Dementia State Plan by coordinating, facilitating, and supporting the activities of the Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders Commission. Additional functions include disseminating information, coordinating services and activities, and identifying interdisciplinary memory assessment centers.


  • Search for your local Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association by zip code or call their 24/7 helpline (1-800-272-3900) for assistance. The Alzheimer's Association offers care consultation, support groups, training and education, connections to clinical trials, and resources for individuals who wander.
  • Family Access to Memory Impairment and Loss Information, Engagement and Supports (FAMILIES) program: six counseling sessions for caregivers of persons with cognitive impairment. There may be a charge associated with this program. For more information please contact George Worthington (george.worthington@dars.virginia.gov or 804-662-9154).
  • Do you help someone with memory loss? This tool can help find support that is right for you. Visit Care to Plan.
  • Find your local Area Agency on Aging if you are seeking assistance with meals, transportation, home modifications, understanding Medicare, adult day care, or home care. Area Agencies on Aging support older adults as they age in the community and during transitions when higher levels of care and support are needed. Services listed above are not exhaustive and will vary between agencies. Eligibility criteria do apply and also vary.
  • Visit VirginiaNavigator to search for information about health and aging, and find resources in your local area.
  • If your loved one, patient, or client is receiving long term care services and you believe there are problems with their care, consider contacting the Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman. Please visit the website for additional information or call toll-free at: (800) 552-3402 or (804) 565-1600. Ask to speak to an Ombudsman.
  • Find your local Department of Social Services. Assistance is available for adults based on income and other eligibility requirements. Visit the Virginia DSS website for additional information about assistance available. To report suspected adult abuse, neglect or exploitation, call your local department of social services or the 24-hour, toll-free Adult Protective Services hotline at: (888) 832-3858.




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