On September 30, representatives from area Rotary clubs participated in a Dementia Simulation event at Cabarrus Brewing Company led by Dawn Lillard of the NC Geriatric Adult Mental Health Specialty Team, (NC GAST). NC GAST works in Cabarrus, Davidson, Mecklenburg, Rowan, Stanly and Union counties to provide information, education and training to people working with older adults.

The event was part of ongoing efforts by local Rotary clubs to raise awareness and support for individuals living with dementia as well as their caregivers.

During the Dementia Simulation event, Rotarians from Afton Sunset Rotary, Cabarrus Rotary, Concord Rotary and Southwest Rotary clubs went through different scenarios to simulate the effects of dementia and aging on daily activities.

The feedback after the activities included responses such as “frustrating,” “agitated” and “very uncomfortable.” All of the event participants agreed that they increased both their awareness and empathy for those living with dementia as well as for their caregivers. One of the hardest tasks in the Dementia Simulation was one for communication.

As a result, the Rotary Dementia Friendly Initiative is partnering with the Alzheimer’s Association, Cannon Pharmacy and Home Instead Senior Care to present “Effective Communication Strategies” on Saturday, Oct. 26 from 10 a.m. until noon at McGill Baptist Church located at 5300 Poplar Tent Road in Concord.

This free session will be led by Angela Burrow, a certified dementia practitioner and trainer. The session will explore how communication changes as dementia progresses and identify communication strategies. The session will benefit caregivers, family members and those living with dementia.

To reserve your space, call 1-800-272-3900 or register online at

Rotary is an international civic organization. To learn more visit If your organization is interested in the services of NC GAST, call 704-953-1553.

Get today’s top stories right in your inbox. Sign up for our daily newsletter.

Recommended for you