Waynesville, North Carolina
Mountain Projects, Inc. is a non-profit that assists those in need to remain as independent as possible. The agency has served the residents of Haywood and Jackson Counties for 45 years with a reputation for integrity and compassion. Haywood Community Connections is a program of the Senior Services Department that brings nonprofits, government entities, businesses and community members together in collaboration, and is responsible for forming the Alzheimer & Dementia Workgroup.
The Alzheimer & Dementia Workgroup‘s overarching goal is to increase awareness of Alzheimer’s and other dementia-related illnesses and to advocate for increased supportive services. The workgroup was formed in response to a county-wide assessment that revealed Alzheimer’s or other related dementia to be an area of concern to seniors. The target population consists of those diagnosed and their caregivers. The workgroup has brought Safe Return and Project C.A.R.E. to Haywood County. They have incorporated an Alzheimer’s training component in every law enforcement training series across the county.
The workgroup developed a training program for clergy, lay leaders, congregation members, and faith-based volunteers, entitled Day-by-Day. The program teaches faith-based organizations how to reach out into the community and serve those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers.
In addition, the workgroup has served as a vehicle to initiate collaboration among various churches and nonprofits: a true systems change. The Alzheimer’s & Dementia Workgroup is comprised of representatives from the Alzheimer’s Association, Haywood Community Connections, Cooperative Extension, Area Agency on Aging and United Way.