Eleven Minnesota organizations will be able to increase awareness of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, promote early diagnosis and connect caregivers to resources, thanks to grants from the Minnesota Board on Aging. The board is granting almost $750,000 to the organizations for 2023 projects.
“These funds support not only people with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, but their family and friends, who play such a critical role in caregiving,” said Kari Benson, board executive director. “Alzheimer’s alone impacts some 100,000 Minnesotans over age 65—a number that will grow 20 percent by 2025.”
Grant recipients are:
A.C.E. of Southwest Minnesota, Slayton, $57,000, for a series of dementia education events, early identification screenings with area health care providers, caregiving support activities, and health and wellness education offerings in Cottonwood, Lincoln, Lyon, Murray, Nobles, Redwood and Rock counties.
Central Minnesota Dementia Community Action Network, St. Cloud, $150,000, for continued work in developing a community-based Dementia Resource Center promoting dementia prevention strategies among all primary and specialty care clinicians, facilitating more primary care clinicians providing full-spectrum dementia care, increasing access and use of dementia care resources for families living with dementia, and expanding an online Dementia Resource Directory.
CLUES, St. Paul, $50,000, for reaching Latiné older adults to support caregiving in the Twin Cities metro area, Austin and Willmar with culturally specific dementia education, early screening and diagnosis options. Funds also connect those providing care to resources and tailored individual and group services and education.
Faith Community Nurse Network of the Greater Twin Cities, Mahtomedi, $130,007, to equip Metro Faith Community Nurses to offer dementia education, resources and wellness assessments that normalize early risk and detection screens, and evidence-based health, wellness and caregiving support services.
Granite Falls Living at Home Block Nurse Program, Granite Falls, $18,500, for increasing awareness of dementia in the surrounding communities, including Upper Sioux Community; promoting early detection and identification of dementia in-home assessments; presentations to area organizations and faith communities; and connecting persons with dementia and their caregivers with direct services and meaningful social events.
Koochiching Aging Options, International Falls, $31,389, for increasing one-to-one assistance from a dementia care support service, offering additional memory cafés for people with dementia and those caring for them while expanding dementia friends awareness and education sessions throughout Koochiching County.
Lao Advancement Organization of America, Inc., Minneapolis, $49,906, for culturally specific information about dementia and caring for people with dementia to health care providers in three Greater Minnesota communities; increase dementia education information among ethnic Lao, including trainings for employees/volunteers of Lao business and organizations; create bilingual resources in print or video format and on Facebook and YouTube; host quarterly social events for people with dementia and family and friends helping care for them.
North Shore Area Partner, Silver Bay, $19,500, for training staff, board members and volunteers as well as area health/social work/law enforcement and civic leaders about the value of brain health, nutrition, exercise and socialization while decreasing stigma and misinformation around dementia; for creating dementia friends action teams and establishing a memory café; and for introducing dementia-friendly concepts to local leaders and policy makers.
Northwoods Caregivers, Bemidji, $77,316, for continued work with dementia outreach, education and support for previously underserved populations (area Native Americans and LGBTQ+ population, and rural residents), with an emphasis on normalizing early identification and screening tools, caregiving support groups, and through dementia education sessions offered at community health fairs, conferences and gatherings.
Sewa-aifw Inc., Brooklyn Center, $74,999, for increasing awareness of Alzheimer’s and other dementias within the South Asian community, continuing early identification through screening in the community and referrals to culturally aware health care providers for cognitive assessment testing, and promoting wellness by connecting family and friends caring for people with dementia to each other and to services, education and resources.
Volunteers of America-Minnesota, Edina, $9,954, to enhance and expand services that identify, educate and support diverse populations facing the challenges of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias and those that care for them. Activities include providing culturally appropriate memory and chronic disease screening/testing and facilitated connections to needed services, broader community education about dementia through outreach, and helping family and friends providing care to better manage their own health through evidence-based education and individual support.