Music therapy wins grant for Alzheimer’s help

By Sharon Adams

AWARE president Sharon Ballew has announced the grant recipients for the 2018-2019 year. Applications were submitted from nonprofit organizations located in Dallas and Collin County that are working on the front lines in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease. The final selections have been made and the recipients are:

• Texas Winds Musical Outreach: Support for the Concerts for Seniors program, which provides two concerts by professional musicians in each of 95 nursing homes and adult day care facilities serving individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias as well as the economically disadvantaged.

• Juliette Fowler Communities: Support for training, implementation, and certification of the “I’m Still Here” program, a national model that provides a person-centered approach to caring for persons with Alzheimer’s through social engagement, new learning experiences, community service and volunteerism. The program ensures that unique skills and interests are incorporated into each patient’s day so that experiences are fulfilling.

• CC Young: Funds to support a board-certified music therapist who will engage with the Memory Care residents for 30 minutes to one hour a day, every day, seven days a week, while becoming familiar with each resident and selecting music on an individual basis according to their preferences.

• Dallas Museum of Art: Support for teaching honorariums, supplies and staffing for Meaningful Moments, a program designed to provide participants with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias and their families or caregivers with ways to engage in art providing a continuing cultural opportunity to everyone regardless of their ability.

• The Senior Source: Support for the Senior Companions program matching trained volunteers with individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias and their families needing assistance with meals, errands and light housekeeping providing caregivers with respite and/or time to work outside the home.

• Center for Brain Health: Support for the second year of Studying Sleep Architecture in Early Stage Alzheimer’s Disease to better understand how sleep impacts cognitive health in aging individuals and what role it may play in cognitive impairment. Results from this three year study could motivate the formulation of better, more multifunctional interventions to slow or halt the progression of cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s disease.

• Dallas Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association: Funds to support the hire of the Dallas Chapter’s Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator. This individual will develop a Hispanic Outreach manual and program called “Get the Facts” directly dedicated to meeting the needs of the underserved and often mono-lingual Dallas Hispanic community. The program will use existing partnerships with Telemundo and Univision television stations to help raise awareness and drive attendance to education and support group opportunities.

• Jewish Family Service: Support for the salary of a three-quarter-time licensed Clinical Social Worker to provide in-home mental health counseling, care management, and daily living support services to 50 older adults with Alzheimer’s disease and 20 family members and caregivers allowing patients to remain independent and living in their own home. 

• Center for Vital Longevity: Support for the salary of Chris Foster, Ph.D, currently working under Dr. Karen Rodrigue, enabling him to continue the second year of a three-year study of biomarker-based risk factors for healthy aging from data collected by the lab from a sample of 200 adults ranging in age from 20-94 years old who are recruited from the Dallas community.

• Baylor Healthcare System: Salary support for the Baylor AT&T Memory Center to provide a trained care and support specialist onsite at the Baylor AT&T Memory Center. By placing this valuable service at the point of care, patients and their families in early diagnosis can receive disease education, caregiver skill training and support groups, elder law and financial planning, and a 24/7 helpline allowing physicians to focus on the medical issues surrounding the disease.

Myrna D. Schlegel AWARE Scholarship Fund Awardees are Emilia Jasper, who is pursuing her graduate master’s degree in family health nursing at TWU and Genova Segura, who is working toward her Bachelor of Science in nursing at TWU.

AWARE is dedicated to fighting Alzheimer’s disease, and its mission is to provide funding and support to nonprofit organizations that are working on the front lines to fight this disease in Dallas and the North Texas region.

Through the Dallas Foundation’s Field of Interest grant program, applications to the AWARE fund were received from nonprofit organizations located in Dallas and Collin County that are working on the front lines in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease. Through the grant application review process, AWARE selects the most outstanding groups that provide services, programs, education, and resources to those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, their families and caregivers, and to organizations doing valuable research to find a prevention and cure.

For more information on AWARE, visit awaredallas.org.

CC Young will receive funds to support a board-certified music therapist who will engage with the Memory Care residents on a daily basis. Photo courtesy of the Alzheimer’s Society

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