Boston – The Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs (EOEA) recently announced it received a three-year, $600,000 grant for the Alzheimer’s Disease Supportive Services Program from the U. S. Administration on Aging (AOA). The grant will enable the agency to create a dementia-capable system of home and community-based services and supports.
A dementia-capable system is one that can identify individuals with dementia and connect them with optimal services provided by dementia-trained staff. Ultimately the training provided through this grant will have an impact on quality of life for thousands living with Alzheimer’s disease across the commonwealth.
The objectives of the grant are to:
- Create and sustain a comprehensive dementia-capable home and community-based services system with “No Wrong Door” access for individuals with dementia and their caregivers.
- Ensure access to a system of culturally competent, high quality dementia-capable home and community based services.
“We are delighted to have secured funding that will enable us to continue to strengthen quality care for individuals with dementia and their caregivers,” said Alice Bonner, secretary of elder affairs. “The training this grant funds will build knowledge and skills among caregivers, significantly enhancing quality dementia care and services in the commonwealth. “
Development of “No Wrong Door” access to dementia-capable services enhances access to community-based services. This type of system connects individuals with the appropriate program or service more seamlessly. Grant funding will improve the capacity of the system to serve individuals with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers by providing training options for counselors, information and referral specialists, care transitions coaches and Medicaid enrollment specialist to communicate effectively with individuals with Alzheimer’s and to increase their understanding of the services available to families managing the challenges of living with dementia.
Additionally, the grant will improve the capacity of Massachusetts’ home and community-based service system to provide dementia-capable services and supports by providing advanced training to help home care staff identify individuals with dementia and provide services that promote independence and well-being, mitigate conflict and alleviate stress for families coping with dementia. Evidence-based educational programs will be made available to family caregivers that have been shown to reduce stress and improve capacity to provide care.
The planning phase of the project has just launched. The implementation phase begins March 1, 2016, and runs through Aug. 31, 2018. Executive Office of Elder Affairs implementation of this AOA grant-funded training is expected to improve independence and quality of life for the 120,000 individuals living with a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease in Massachusetts as well as the roughly 330,000 family members and friends who provide informal care for their loved ones.