Gilbert Awards 2014: Recipients

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The Rosalinde Gilbert Innovations in Alzheimer's Disease Caregiving Legacy Award: 2014 Award Recipients

The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation and Family Caregiver Alliance (FCA) are pleased to announce the winners of the 2014 Rosalinde Gilbert Innovations in Alzheimer’s Disease Caregiving Legacy Awards. The programs will be presented at 2015 Aging in America, the Annual Conference of the American Society on Aging in Chicago. A reception on on March 25th will be held at the conference to honor the four recipients that were selected in 2014 for awards of $20,000 each. Representatives from the four nonprofit organizations will make presentations about their extraordinary programs that address the needs of Alzheimer’s disease caregivers and received their award certificates. The winning programs qualified in the following categories:  Creative Expression, Diverse/Multicultural Communities, and Policy and Advocacy.  (Note: There was two awardees in the Policy and Advocacy category for 2014.) The 2014 recipients are:


Creative Expression

Organization: Gail Borden Public Library (Elgin, IL)
Program/Project: Tales and Travel - Alzheimer's Memories Project

Tales and Travel - Alzheimer's Memories Project is an innovative program that provides library services directly to persons with early and mid-stage Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers. Created by Gail Borden Public Library District, the highly replicable program has been adopted by other libraries and by memory care centers. Staff and volunteers use materials already in library collections to stimulate memories and conversation through reading and music resources via “excursions” to different regions or countries around the world. The location is identified on a globe, encouraging conversation. A brief folktale, legend or myth, interesting facts about the location and text are read aloud. Books rich in color photos are browsed to further engage participants in conversation and music and food from the destination may also be incorporated. The program is currently being adapted for at-home caregivers, who will check out “carry-on bags” at the library for use in the home.


Diverse/Multicultural Communities

Organization: Orange Caregiver Resource Center (Fullerton, CA)
Program/Project: Vietnamese Family Caregiver Support

Orange County, California is home to the largest population of Vietnamese residents in the U.S. They are aging while retaining traditional customs and language. Orange Caregiver Resource Center has served this community since 1997 providing the first culturally and language competent Vietnamese family caregiver resources to caregivers of persons with Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders and other chronic illnesses in California. Family caregiving is already challenging; cultural and linguistic factors create added barriers to service access. The Vietnamese Family Caregiver Support Group is offered monthly and accompanied by a variety of supportive services including assessment and care planning, information and referral, counseling, and educational workshops. Workshops that include guiding caregivers through understanding and completing advance health care directives for themselves and loved ones; a ground breaking intervention within this community. Caregivers report increased knowledge and awareness of community resources and that they feel more competent as caregivers and better able to take care of their own health through participation in the programs.


Policy and Advocacy (2)

Organization: Metropolitan Area Agency on Aging (North St. Paul, MN)
Program/Project: ACT on Alzheimer's

ACT on Alzheimer’s is a volunteer-driven, statewide collaboration seeking large-scale social change and community capacity-building to transform Minnesota’s response to Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. ACT was established in 2011 by a subgroup of the State’s Alzheimer’s Disease Working Group to implement recommendations made to the Legislature. The long-term goal is to stimulate statewide action on public policies and programs that will advance and sustain Alzheimer’s readiness and community-wide support. A volunteer-composed Leadership Council, Steering Team, Leadership Groups in five major goal areas and thirty-three Community Action Teams of volunteers are collaborating to help communities create a supportive environment for people living with Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers. Successes to date include development of best-practice educational curricula and practice tools for clinicians that have been adopted by four health systems; development of a web-based toolkit to help communities assess and advance dementia capability; and an economic model that projects health care cost savings in Minnesota associated with participation in in-person caregiver intervention. The ACT on Alzheimer's provider practice tools and interdisciplinary curricula will be the foundation for a national dementia curriculum developed by the Health Research and Services Administration (HRSA), resulting in national dissemination.


Organization: California Association for Adult Day Services (Sacramento, CA)
Program/Project: Success Through a Unified Vision: The Fight to Preserve Alzheimer's Care in California

Success Through a Unified Vision: the Fight to Preserve Alzheimer's Care in California saved Adult Day Health Care (ADHC) from elimination as a Medi-Cal benefit through a concentrated effort utilizing public interest litigation, grassroots advocacy and persuasive media stories. As a result of decisions made by the Governor and Legislature to eliminate ADHC as a State Plan Benefit in 2011, 252 centers made plans to discharge 37,000 frail elders including an estimated 15,000 persons with dementia and their families by November 30, 2011. No other state has ever proposed wholesale elimination of the ADHC benefit. Due to the severity of the state’s actions, CAADS’ advocacy prevent significant harm to beneficiaries and the families had to follow an innovative course. Key collaborators included attorneys, Disability Rights of California, AARP, California Hospital Association, and the Alzheimer’s Policy Council. A legal settlement with the state stopped the discharges on December 1, 2011. In addition to reopening the doors to ADHCs across the state, the campaign evidenced other successes: changes in ADHC eligibility requirements, grassroots mobilization, an extensive media campaign resulting in extensive coverage of “impact” stories; and application of the principles of the Americans with Disabilities Act to obtain a temporary injunction based on immediate harm and ultimately a federal court settlement creating the Community Based Adult Services Medi-Cal benefit under managed care. Even so, by mid-2012, 52 ADHCs permanently had closed their doors. The campaign’s key elements and lessons learned could be replicated or adapted in other states.