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Honoring Programs that ‘Think Different’ at the Innovations in Alzheimer’s Caregiving Awards Reception for 2023 Awardees

March 29, 2024

Woman presenting in front of a group of people at a conference.

At the Innovations in Alzheimer’s Caregiving Awards reception on March 26, we celebrated the creativity, community, and compassion of our 2023 awardees. We started by thanking our partners The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation and Bader Philanthropies, Inc. for their support of these awards.

The uniting theme for the evening was “Think Different.”

The San Francisco Bay Area is a creative place. Science, technology, and the arts all loom large in our community. Creating services for formerly “invisible” populations is baked into the DNA of our region too. Many movements have gotten their start here and influenced the national thinking about rights and access, recognition and support, and combining health and social care services into one access point – all themes we take for granted today.

For disabled adults wanting full access to the community, jobs, and agency over their own care, we have the disability rights advocates and the formation of World Institute on Disability in 1983 by Ed Roberts, Judy Heumann, and Joan Lee. Among the many “firsts” they would achieve was in 1985, when they held the first aging and disability forum to talk about aging with dignity.

In the late 1970’s, a small group began to study the needs of unpaid family caregivers of adults with dementia, stroke, Parkinson’s, and other cognitive disorders. Family Caregiver Alliance was created in 1980 and in that year, wrote the first legislation and policies in the country to develop services and supports for family caregivers. That legacy is alive with the CA Caregiver Resource Center system, serving every county in the state and later influenced the development of the National Family Caregiver Support Program at ACL today.

And in the 1970’s, in San Francisco’s Chinatown, a bunch of “crazy good” folks at the Chinese hospital and community advocates thought there must be a better way to combine health and social care into a seamless and supportive program for older adults with multiple chronic health conditions. On Lok paved the way for a national system of PACE models that grows by the year.

To introduce this year’s awardees, FCA Executive Director Kathy Kelly highlighted ad copy from the renowned Apple reboot campaign. This campaign jumped started the company when Apple was being written off as a company without a future and Steve Jobs came back for his second act.

The copy read:

There are people who see the world differently.

They see things in new ways.

They invent, create, imagine.

Because while some might see them as the crazy ones,

we see genius.

Think different.

Along these same lines, the Innovations in Alzheimer’s Caregiving Award winners “Think Different” and then they create. A barn. A mall. A movie theater. What do these common places have in common? They are places of community, of support, of normal life with a twist.

Learn more about the Innovations in Alzheimer’s Caregiving Awards by visiting our site. Read our press release about the awardees and view detailed information about the winning programs.