The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation and Family Caregiver Alliance (FCA) are pleased to announce the winners of the 2015 Rosalinde Gilbert Innovations in Alzheimer’s Disease Caregiving Legacy Awards. The four award recipients will be honored, and their programs presented, at a reception on Tuesday, March 22, at the 2016 Aging in America Conference in Washington, DC.* Each organization will be awarded $20,000 for their program that addresses the needs Alzheimer’s disease caregivers in the following three areas: Creative Expression, Diverse/Multicultural Communities, and Policy and Advocacy. This year, we are again pleased to present two winners in the Policy and Advocacy category.
Download 8.5"x11" flyer for 3/22 reception.
University of Michigan Stamps School of Art & Design, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Program: Memory, Aging & Expressive Arts
“Retaining Identity: Exploring the Role of Creativity in Healthcare” is the motto for the Memory, Aging & Expressive Arts community engagement course offered through the University of Michigan Stamps School of Art & Design. This intergenerational program benefits university students and individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (through the Silver Club Memory Programs) and their caregiver(s). Paired one-to-one, participants meet weekly over 13-weeks to engage in dance, music, writing, visual art exercises, and more. Students from multiple disciplines (social work, medicine, gerontology, public health, art, and design) engage in an interdisciplinary course on aging, dementia, and the role of art in health education. Silver Club members are able to enjoy a structured opportunity for camaraderie with peers, keeping their mind and body active, and the opportunity to teach students how to cope with life’s challenges. In turn, the students enjoy teaching their elder partners to explore creatively. Family caregivers report that the program has increased communication with their family member and has helped improve their family member’s sense of self-worth.
Diverse/ Multicultural Communities
Arts & Minds, New York, New York
Program: Arts & Minds at the Studio Museum in Harlem
The Arts & Minds program at the Studio Museum in Harlem reaches an economically disadvantaged and culturally underserved population with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia and their caregiver(s). Recognizing class, education, and geographic barriers to accessing museum arts programs at other institutions, a Harlem based physician and museum educator started Arts & Minds at the Studio Museum in 2010 (200 programs conducted to date) for the Harlem community. The organization has since initiated the first Spanish-language arts museum program in New York City, reaching out to the East Harlem neighborhood. All programs are offered free of charge. Held weekly, participants start each 90-minute session with an introduction to a work of art chosen as the focus of the group’s inquiry for the day. A facilitated session, incorporating both verbal and non-verbal communication, encourages the exchange of observations and emotions. Following the session is a thematically related art-making workshop, using quality material, led by museum educators and volunteer interns. The entire staff at the museum, from security guards to facilitators, is oriented to and participates in making the experience positive for the “the deeply forgetful individual” and their caregiver.
Policy and Advocacy (two recipients)
California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform (CANHR), San Francisco, California
Program: Campaign to Eliminate the Inappropriate Use of Psychotropic Drugs and Improve Dementia Care in Nursing Homes (www.canhr.org/stop-drugging)
The Campaign to Eliminate the Inappropriate Use of Psychotropic Drugs and Improve Dementia Care in Nursing Homes is working to replace a “culture of drugging” with person-centered care. FDA warnings and numerous studies show the harmful effects of drug use with this population and CANHR found that nearly one-third of California’s nursing home residents living with dementia still received powerful antipsychotic drugs that are neither intended nor FDA-approved for their medical condition. CANHR’s campaign has documented a reduced use of “chemical restraints” by 20%+ for residents with dementia statewide. The long-term goal is to reduce usage of these drugs only for those instances where they are medically indicated. Since launching in 2010, CANHR has co-hosted 13 dementia care symposia bringing palliative care experts from around the country to teach evidence-based, nonpharmacological models for managing aggression, agitation, wandering, and other behaviors commonly associated with dementia reaching thousands of dementia care practitioners, social workers, nurses, facility administrators, and family caregivers. To improve transparency for caregivers, CANHR publishes quarterly data (collected through the Freedom of Information Act) on nursing home psychoactive drug use. CANHR also uses targeted media campaigns (statewide and nationally), provides curricula and training material, and offers consultation to others seeking to replicate this work.
Clerk & Comptroller’s Office, Palm Beach County, West Palm Beach, Florida
Program: Guardianship Fraud Program and Hotline
The Guardianship Fraud Program and Hotline offers a best practice standard to combat elder financial abuse (fraud, waste, and financial mismanagement) in the area of guardianship and conservatorship. The program employs monitoring, education, and outreach activities providing a pro-active, consumer responsive, advocacy service for caregivers and individuals living with dementia. The program assists caregivers by investigating alleged guardianship fraud cases and since the Hotline began in 2010, over 800 guardianship cases have been audited and investigated; over $4.4 million in unsubstantiated disbursements, missing assets, and fraud identified; and 45 cases have been referred to law enforcement and other agencies resulting in two arrests. Of the population served, 60% are individuals living with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. The program is currently being replicated in 25+ counties in Florida. The Guardianship Fraud Program and Hotline tackles this difficult problem through enhanced auditing utilizing professional auditing standards, educating guardians and attorneys, offering training classes and education seminars, building relationships with community and criminal justice partners, and maintaining a consistent outreach program to educate the community.
* Aging in America Conference and Awards Reception: March 20–24, 2016. All conference activities will be taking place at the Marriott Wardman Park and Omni Shoreham Hotels. The Awards Reception will be held Tuesday, March 22, 2016, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, Thurgood Marshall North Room, 2660 Woodley Road, NW, Washington, DC. No need to RSVP. Reporters are welcome to attend.