Recognizing Best Practices in Dementia Care

CFAR | May 09, 2017 | by Geralyn Magan

The Rosalinde Gilbert Innovations in Alzheimer’s Disease Caregiving Legacy Awards recognizes dementia care programs that enhance creative expression, serve multicultural communities, and advance policy and advocacy.

For each of the past 10 years, the Family Caregiver Alliance has selected 3 innovative programs to receive the Rosalinde Gilbert Innovations in Alzheimer’s Disease Caregiving Legacy Awards.

The awards program, which is supported by the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation, recognizes individuals who have developed programs in 3 categories: enhancing creative expression, serving multicultural communities, and advancing policy and advocacy.

Enhances Creative Expression Among People with Dementia

This year’s award went to Dr. Elizabeth “Like” Logan and Miami University’s Scripps Gerontology Center in Ohio for a program called Opening Minds through Art.

The intergenerational program helps older adults with dementia tap into something deep within themselves so they can create beautifully expressive art. Each participant is accompanied on the artistic journey by a younger person who comes to understand that despite cognitive impairment, “the human is still there … locked behind the disease,” according to Lokon. Unlocking that inner self is really an incredible process to witness.

Brings Dementia Care to Diverse, Multicultural Communities

Karen Leekity and Zuni Elderly Services were honored in this category for their work to develop Zuni Adult Day Services on the Zuni Pueblo in New Mexico.

The center is the first of its kind to bring dementia care and respite to Native American elders so they won’t have to leave the reservation. It lets Pueblo members with dementia stay close to family members while retaining ties with the native language and customs that have supported them for a lifetime. The program also provides ongoing caregiver training while building knowledge about Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias in the wider community.

Advances Policy and Advocacy Efforts

Dr. Debra L. Cherry and Alzheimer's Greater Los Angeles were honored for developing the Dementia Cal MediConnect Project, which improves access to quality health care and supports for poor and ethnically diverse people with dementia participating in California’s “duals” (Medicare/MediCal) demonstration project.

The California Department of Aging, 3 Alzheimer’s Association chapters, and 10 health plans are working together to provide technical assistance in dementia care to health plans, train care managers so they understand the needs of people with dementia, and provide support and Alzheimer’s care to older people and their caregivers.

BEST PRACTICES FOR LEADINGAGE MEMBERS

Learn about award winners from past years by flipping through the Gilbert Caregiving Legacy Awards scrapbook, which highlights all the programs that have been honored since 2008.

‘Taking just a few minutes with this online scrapbook will help you feel a little more hopeful – and a little less anxious – about the future of our extremely creative field,” wrote Robyn Stone, senior vice president for research at LeadingAge and a member of the award’s selection committee.