Page 21 - 4311 SCENE
P. 21

Local InterestBY SHERII SHERBANIt’s not surprising to hear how gen- erous the individuals and businesses are in this community. Combine that gen- erosity with a host of volunteers and successful collaborations and you will understand how Miles for Memories has impacted Calhoun County in just five short years.Miles for Memories set up a Com- munity Project Fund at the Battle Creek Community Foundation in 2013 and just a few months later we had our first fundraising event. A group of committed volunteers wanted to do something to impact the trajectory of Alzheimer’s dis- ease because at that time:• Nearly 1 in 3 seniors was expected to die with a form of dementia.• Every 66 seconds someone in the U.S. developed the disease.• Movement was the only therapy hav- ing an impact.• We were on thepath toward11,500 individuals impacted by 2050 in Calhoun County alone.Since that time Miles for Memories has intentionally adopted a new vision statement to include all forms of demen- tia. Miles for Memories now seeks to create solutions for the those impacted by dementia through movement, pro- gramming and research.Each year as part of our fundraising efforts we contribute 20% of our dollars raised to a nearby research project. The dollars contributed to Michigan State University’s prevention-related and ear- ly-stage research have led to Miles for Memories being credited in several na- tional and international journals.Several lifestyle programs are in var- ious stages of development. The Vine- yard of Memories art program provides an opportunity for the person living with dementia and their caregiver, as well as community members to come together to experience the impact of touching the creative part of the brain.The Melodious Memories music program has moved from the first pilot phase in Evergreen’s skilled nursingMeeting Community Needsfacility to the next level at Marian E Burch Adult Day Care. The next step is to take it to the community for caregivers to be able to utilize in their home setting.We are currently developing multi- generational programs with hands on learning as part of the Great Minds Ped- agogy program, a pen pal program for middle school students, and a coloring book for elementary aged youth.Educational programs include Mind Aerobics focused on prevention; De- mentia Capable Care specialist certifi- cation focused on the professional care- giver; Dealing with Dementia primarily focused on the family caregiver; Demen- tia Friends focused on the community at large; and more. Dementia trainingshave also been created to meet the needs of area law enforcement and emergency responders.The T.E.C.H. (To Ensure they Come Home) program includes a collection of resources that are intended to cre- ate peace of mind for the caregiver as well as ensure the quick, safe return of a loved one. It includes the Help Home program; the Senior I.D. program; the Personal I.D. bracelet program; and a G.P.S. bracelet program. To date, we have had 18 individuals returned home as a result of these efforts. The T.E.C.H. program has been funded in part by the Michigan Health Endowment Fund.The Help Home program is a collabo- ration with the Calhoun County Consol- idated Dispatch. Individuals are volun- tarily registered in this program. When a loved one goes missing, a quick call to 9-1-1 alerts law enforcement. Because of the efforts of our dispatch system and staff all patrol cars can access the infor- mation directly from the computers in their vehicles.The Senior I.D. program gathers all the data and collects it on a thumb drive for family members to take with themor it can be sent directly to an app that can be downloaded to their smart phone. In addition to location and medical in- formation, it also includes video of the person talking, photos, and fingerprints.The Personal I.D. program takes the information gathered for the Help Home program and adds it to a bracelet worn on the wrist. Additional data can also be added and managed through an app that is downloaded to the caregiver’s smart phone. Emergency responders access the information in just five seconds with scanning equipment. Law enforcement and hospital staff can also access the information through the 800 number on the back of the band.More than 600 bracelets have been distributed to individ- uals experiencing var- ious challenges with memory loss all across Calhoun County since the program began in February 2018. We also have caregivers wearing the bracelets. They do so for the purpose of letting emergency responders know about a loved one just in case something shouldhappen to them.The next phase is the G.P.S. braceletprogram. We are currently in phase two of the pilot and are looking for a few more caregivers to work with us on the project.2019 will be an exciting year as many of the projects that we have been work- ing on will be ready for the community. We will also increase the focus on the caregiver and add new training options. Be sure to follow the Miles for Memo- ries Facebook page for fundraisers and programs available for the person living with dementia, the caregiver, and area youth.As always, Miles for Memories con- tinues to be led by an all-volunteer team.A special thank you to Motor Shop Electric for their support in this issue of Scene Magazine. For a complete list of sponsors throughout the year please visit the website at formemories. For additional information email ISSUE I SCENE 4311 21

   19   20   21   22   23