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The 2013 Rosalinde Gilbert Innovations in Alzheimer’s Disease Caregiving Legacy Awardees

With support from The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation, Family Caregiver Alliance (FCA) recognized the recipients of the 2013 Rosalinde Gilbert Innovations in Alzheimer’s Disease Caregiving Legacy Awards during the Aging in America Conference in San Diego, in March 2014.  A reception was held to honor the three programs that were selected in 2013 for awards of $20,000 each. Representatives from the three nonprofit organizations made 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 and Diverse/Multicultural Communities. (Note: There was no awardee in the Policy and Advocacy category for 2013.) The program, organization and representative in each of the categories were as follows:

Creative Expression

Alzheimer’s Poetry Project New Mexico Literary Arts – Santa Fe, NM Gary Glazner, Director

The goal of the Alzheimer’s Poetry Project (APP) is to improve the quality of life of people living with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias by facilitating creative expression through poetry. The rationale for using poetry with people living with dementia stems from research that shows aerobic benefits and increased synaptic activity when reciting poems and significant emotional and psychological benefit from being able to access the creative part of one’s identity. Since 2003, APP has provided professional arts programming in 24 states and internationally serving over 15,000 people with early to late-stage dementia and their caregivers. It also provides training for professional caregivers and teaching artists. The result has been an innovative, highly replicable arts intervention to improve the quality of life of people living with dementia and their families.

Diverse/Multicultural Communities

Community-based Alzheimer’s Specific Services for Everglades Agricultural Area Alzheimer’s Community Care – West Palm Beach, FL Mark Cornett, Chief Executive Officer

Alzheimer’s Community Care launched the Family Nurse Consultant (FNC) program in the Everglades agricultural region of Palm Beach County, reaching the underserved communities of Belle Glade, Pahokee and South Bay. The program provides Alzheimer’s caregivers with education, support and access to community-based services to continue home-based care and experience quality of life for themselves and their loved ones.  The minority population of predominantly farm workers faces many challenges including poverty, low education levels, and high unemployment. Because minority populations have been at greater risk for Alzheimer’s disease, the need for access to dementia-specific interventions is critical. The Family Nurse Consultant (FNC) program serves as a lifeline for families living with Alzheimer’s disease. The program’s goal is to provide caregivers with support, tools and resources needed to continue providing home-based care for their loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease. The FNC provides interventions, home visits, needs assessments, and care plans designed to meet the needs of the family caregiver and care recipient throughout all stages of the disease. These interventions have reduced caregiver stress and reduced or eliminated the need for nursing home placement. The results have been improved quality of life and safety for caregivers and their loved ones.

Creative Expression

The Genius of Marian WeOwnTV – San Francisco, CA Banker White, Director

WeOwnTV is a nonprofit organization that produces educational documentary films that explore critical issues of our time by creating robust social campaigns and educational outreach activities around its productions.  The organization produced The Genius of Marian, a visually rich and emotionally complex, feature-length, documentary film, that explores the heartbreak of Alzheimer’s disease, the power of art and the meaning of family. The documentary follows Pam White and her family for three years following her Alzheimer’s diagnosis as her son, the filmmaker, documents the changes that occur in all of their lives. The Genius of Marian has been particularly resonant for family caregivers, caregiving professionals and those directly affected by Alzheimer’s disease and age-related disabilities because it prominently features family caregiving in action.  The objective of the film is to inspire new thinking about how we define health and wellness and to change the way we cope, as individuals and as a society, with Alzheimer’s disease, aging and loss. Congratulations to these three programs!  Family Caregiver Alliance would like to know about other innovative and effective programs that are addressing the needs of Alzheimer’s disease caregivers across the nation. To Apply for an Award: Applications for the 2014 awards will be available in May 2014. To learn more about the Rosalinde Gilbert Innovations in Alzheimer’s Disease Caregiving Legacy Awards, visit FCA’s website: www.caregiver.org. To learn more about The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation, visit their website: http://www.thegilbertfoundation.org