By Melanie Petrucci, Contributing Writer
Westborough – Selectman George Barrette introduced Christine Alessandro, executive director of BayPath Elder Services in Marlborough, at the Board of Selectmen’s meeting Sept. 13 to discuss dementia friendly communities.
Westborough has been approved for funding for Phase II of “Come 2B Dementia Friendly” through the Metrowest Health Foundation. Phase I began over a year ago with Marlborough, Hudson and Northborough. Phase II adds Westborough and Sudbury. This is a program for elders with dementia and their caregivers to remain engaged with their communities.
“It’s about reaching out across all sectors of the community to make sure that our restaurants, businesses, faith-based organizations, banks, healthcare providers, municipal government and first responders are all aware of dementia and its signs, and create a friendly environment for them to remain, and eliminate the stigma,” Alessandro said.
In 2016 Alessandro estimated that over 400 people in Westborough have some form of dementia (not including early onset cases). BayPath uses “The Act on Alzheimer’s Model” which is a comprehensive program in which the community gathers through an appointed committee, collects information, analyzes data and forms a community action plan. This is a grassroots approach and is a 12-month process.
Barrette asked that letters of interest to serve on the Action Committee be directed to the Selectmen’s office. Alessandro informed the board that a community meeting will take place in early October.