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Three Links Receives Grant to Advance Dementia-Friendly Work
Submitted by Patrice Ciernia on Fri, 04/25/2014 - 8:28am
Three Links has received a grant through ACT on Alzheimer’s to help make Northfield a more dementia-friendly community. Northfield is one of 12 new action communities working to prepare Minnesota for the growing number of people with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. The Alzheimer’s Association estimates there are 88,000 Minnesotans age 65 and older with the disease and many thousands more with other dementias.
ACT on Alzheimer’s is a volunteer-driven, statewide collaboration preparing Minnesota for the personal, social and budgetary impacts of Alzheimer’s. Working with communities striving to become dementia-friendly is one of ACT’s key strategies.
“The new communities build on the exciting work being done by the seven pilot action communities, said Olivia Mastry, executive lead for ACT on Alzheimer’s. “The goal is to provide community support for those with dementia and their caregivers, allowing people to live in their communities for as long as possible.”
Grass-root efforts to create dementia-friendly communities now are border-to-border in Minnesota, with community leaders and organizations coming together to work in geographical communities and communities of shared interests. Some areas of focus in the new communities will include inter-generational outreach, engaging new Minnesotans through immigrant populations and furthering the work with faith communities.
“We look forward to starting the ACT on Alzheimer’s process in Northfield,” said Emily Farah-Miller, project leader of the Northfield action team. “Supporting our community members with Alzheimer’s and other dementias and their caregivers will do tremendous good for the community as a whole.”
Three Links was part of the initial round of grant recipients. The next application round opens April 15 and closes June 3, followed by up to 10 grants awarded.
“As the population of Minnesota ages, it’s becoming increasingly important to build support systems for people with dementia and Alzheimer’s,” said Mastry. Some of the most exciting innovations will emerge from this community work. Creating dementia-friendly communities means that caregivers are supported and people with dementia are able to live in the community and stay out of institutional care longer. That helps everyone – families and taxpayers who pay for institutional care, employers who have workers trying to balance all the demands of caregiving, and the individuals themselves.”
Northfield joins the seven pilot communities – Cambridge, Forest Lake, St. Louis Park, St. Paul, Walker, Willmar and the Twin Cities Jewish Community. In addition to Northfield, the new action communities are in Bemidji, Brainerd/Baxter, Detroit Lakes, Edina, Harmony, International Falls, Marshall, Roseville and St. Paul’s northeast neighborhoods, in addition to CLUES (reaching Latino populations) and the Minnesota Council of Churches.
Three Links’ grant is funded through Blue Plus (an HMO affiliate of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota), the Medica Foundation, and Greater Twin Cities United Way.
More than 60 organizations are partners in ACT on Alzheimer’s, dedicated to preparing Minnesota for the future and to creating supportive communities for persons and families touched by Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. More information is available at www.actonalz.org