Home Agencies JFS now offering Caregivers Dementia Care Certification

JFS now offering Caregivers Dementia Care Certification


One out of every eight older adults will experience memory loss or dementia during their lifetime.

According to Virginia Alzheimer’s Disease Center, “Over 5.8 million Americans live with dementia and this number is only expected to increase.”

The disease can alter memory, language, problem-solving, and other thinking abilities that are severe enough to interfere with daily life.

Many of us likely know someone who has been affected. How will we serve this increasing population of those in need?


JFS, in partnership with Richmond Memorial Health Foundation and the Bob and Anna Lou Schaberg Foundation, is now offering our in-home care aides a series of classes on caring for older adults with dementia.

Upon completing the seven modules and passing their final tests, aides earn the title Certified Dementia Care Specialist.

Andrea Wharam, JFS’ Chief Program Officer, shared: “We are proud to announce this month that 20 CNAs and PCAs will receive this honor and distinction of becoming the first class of Certified Dementia Care Specialists at JFS!”

The photos with the article feature five of the 20.

Melissa Hayes
Jamila Nazifa


Burnita Robertson
Suzanne Suttler

The program teaches a positive, respective approach to caring for individuals living with dementia and explains what’s happening in the brain to cause the symptoms of the disease.

The course also empowers JFS’ aides to help their client’s family members better understand their loved one’s diagnosis.

This training can also help an aide identify a client who might be affected by dementia, while equipping them with the skills and knowledge to build a positive relationship with their client.

This is a wonderful achievement and opportunity for these individuals to expand their skill set and grow in their field!

Each have worked very hard and deserve this honorable distinction!

Jewish Family Services is supported, in part, by a generous annual contribution and programming grants from the Jewish Community Federation of Richmond.