• 81°

Governor shares personal story of his father at Dare dementia event 

Almost every hand was raised at “Dare to Discover Dementia Friendly” presented by Dare County’s Dementia Task Force this Thursday. 

Dianne Denny, chairman of the task force, asked a series of questions like “do you have family members with dementia?” “Friends?” More hands went up each time. 

To a quiet audience, Gov. Roy A. Cooper told his personal story about taking care of his father. He shared the responsibility with his brother. 

“Day by day we saw a cognitive decline.” 

He said it is “one of the most difficult things you can imagine … You have to learn to cope with these things. You learn coping mechanisms.” 

When his father’s wife of 62 years died, his father keep asking where she was. So, the family said she was with a good friend on a trip. His father understood that explanation and was okay. 

Sitting in his home, his father said he wanted to go home. The answer was to get in a car, go for a drive and come home. 

“God bless friends who would still come to talk, take a walk, bring dinner, play big band songs.” 

He thanked the Task Force for getting rid of the stigma of mental illness, substance abuse and dementia. “Often people step back when it’s a cognitive issue,” said the governor. “It’s okay to be with that person with dementia.” 

He was often torn between responsibility for his own family and that for his father. 

On Saturday, he would take his father to a restaurant. He gravitated toward those restaurants where staff accepted his father. 

Nine restaurants along the Outer Banks now have staff who are trained as “dementia friendly.” 

Dan Lewis, president of the Outer Banks Restaurant Association, said the training is about giving staff hospitality tools. A course has now been developed and will be disseminated statewide. “It all started here,” said Lewis. 

Cooper said he would take it back to Raleigh, too. 

The governor said “we know we have a health care gap.” He was talking about the divide between the state’s 20 urban counties and the 80 rural ones. 

The governor’s Hometown Strong initiative is calling for local innovation, like restaurant training. 

And like the Outer Banks Hospital. The local medical facility is the first in the state to earn a dementia-friendly designation. 

From the audience came Noel Preston whose wife has dementia. He praised the hospital. He said the staff is knowledgeable. He said the dementia volunteers are “wonderful caring people.” 

Nine volunteers are now trained to be with dementia patients. 

The Healthy Carolinians Dementia Task Force is “a partnership of Dare County businesses and volunteers who are helping hands for caregivers caring for loved ones living with Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia.” 

Look for the purple seahorse, the symbol for dementia friendly. 

For more information, obxdementiataskforce@gmail.com, call 252-475-5500 or check out Healthy Carolinians Dementia Task Force on Facebook. 

On the Water

Midgette proposes pound net around Hog Island Bay

News

Statue of antebellum North Carolina chief justice at court removed

Sports

Courage beat Sky Blue, win fourth straight in NWSL tournament

Business

North Carolina schools will open to in-person and virtual instruction in the fall, Phase 2 extended

NEWSLETTER News

Outer Banks Community Foundation Awards $164,000 in scholarships

Lifestyles

Exploring the soundside

Lifestyles

Virtual concert supports songwriting workshop for veterans

Currituck

Currituck Historical Society Kids Bike Parade winners named

News

Two injured in collision involving car and motorcycle

Lifestyles

Blood donation goal surpassed

Hyde

COVID-19 testing set in Swan Quarter Wednesday

News

N.C. parents, businesses await Cooper’s COVID-19 plans

Lifestyles

Manteo’s 2020 Regatta canceled

Crime

Denise Johnson cold case: Podcast continues to bring renewed attention 23 years after murder

Letters to the Editor

Letter to the Editor: Reader: ‘Offensive mascot should be replaced’

Lifestyles

Corolla Wild Horse Fund reports ‘completely preventable’ death of colt

News

Death of swimmer reported on Duck beach

News

U.S. Census Bureau urges self-response to 2020 Census

Letters to the Editor

Letter to the Editor: Open letter to the Dare County Board of Education

Business

Town of Manteo launches new website

Business

Stop N Shop: Beach essentials and beyond

News

Additional COVID-19 cases reported in Dare and Tyrrell

Hyde

Pennsylvania man dies while swimming off Ocracoke beach

Lifestyles

Pickle-making workshop set at Island Farm