November 2019, Volume 35
Grant Supports People with
Developmental Disabilities and Dementia
A new project spearheaded by MemoryLane Care Services places special emphasis on reaching people with developmental disabilities (also known as DD) who have dementia or who are at risk of developing dementia. MemoryLane Care offers care, services, advice, and ongoing support to persons living with Alzheimer's and related disorders - as well as to their families and caregivers. They operate a day center that provides structured, person-centered, and therapeutic activities to adults experiencing cognitive impairment related to chronic conditions such as Alzheimer's disease or other dementias.
MemoryLane Care received a three-year grant from the Administration for Community Living to develop a dementia-inclusive community in the greater Toledo area and northwest Ohio. The project is designed to improve the quality of life for individuals diagnosed with dementias; those who are exhibiting symptoms but lack a diagnosis; and the caregivers of these individuals. A coalition will be developed which will pull together various community groups to focus on the creation of a Dementia-Inclusive Community.
MemoryLane Care gathered many partners for the implementation of the grant. Local partners include: Lucas County Board of Developmental Disabilities, Manahan (formerly known as Josina Lott Residential and Community Services) and ProMedica Goerlich Center. Some subject matter experts who are part of the grant include: Ohio Council for Cognitive Health, Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging and Miami University's Scripps Gerontology Center.
The Lucas County Board of Developmental Disabilities (the Board, or LCBDD) has several objectives related to participating in the grant. LCBDD hopes to create a systematic approach to providing supports and services for people with developmental disabilities who have dementia or are risk for developing dementia. The grant provides access to a national expert, Dr. Phil McCallion, to consult on the development of a process for support and early detection of dementia in people with DD. Some people with DD are at increased risk for developing dementia.
It is our hope to create a community supporting people with dementia and also aware of the issues people with DD face. We hope to support the inclusion of people with developmental disabilities in community services related to dementia.
A major focus of the grant is educating people about dementia in people with DD. Understanding the unique ways in which dementia presents itself in people with DD helps staff, family, and friends provide better support. Different types and levels of training will be offered.
A basic training in dementia, Dementia Friends, will be offered widely. Developed by the Alzheimer's Society in the United Kingdom, the Dementia Friends has spread to the US. The Ohio Council for Cognitive Health, which trains people to be Dementia Friends trainers, has adapted the training for this grant to focus more on those who have both a developmental disability and dementia.
The Dementia Friends program focuses on five key messages that we believe everyone should know about dementia:
1. Dementia is not a natural part of aging.
2. Dementia is caused by diseases of the brain.
3. It is not just about losing your memory.
4. It's possible to live well with dementia.
5. There is more to the person than the dementia.
A more in-depth training developed for those working with someone with dementia will be available to LCBDD and provider staff. Specialized training in behavior intervention will also be available.
A group of professionals have been trained in the Benjamin Rose Institute (BRI) Care Consultation model. The Care Consultant establishes a relationship and provides personalized coaching to the person with dementia and that person's caregivers. The model consists of three components delivered concurrently. The first component is an assessment of several domain areas related to the person's dementia. This occurs over a four-month period. Next, the Care Consultant creates an action plan with specific and time-sensitive tasks. The Care Consultant has a wide variety of resources available to provide to the person and the person's team. The third component is maintenance and support. Reassessment is done over time and new action steps are created.
While this process is similar to the individual support planning process, the Care Consultation process will focus on the effects of dementia on the person and on their life. The person will still have a Service and Support Administrator (SSA) who will, along with the team, write an ISP. The Care Consultant will be a specialty person who will receive referrals from SSAs and teams, much as Specialized Support Consultants do.
LCBDD and Manahan are piloting the BRI Care Consultant model. This is the first time it has been used with people with developmental disabilities. We are seeking referrals for care consultation. If you know someone who has dementia or is at risk for developing dementia, please consider referring them to care consultation.
Please send referrals to Jason McAllister at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It is our hope that this grant will lead to earlier identification of dementia in people with developmental disabilities, and to better coordination of services and supports related to dementia.
November Activity Tip
November 24 - 30 is the week of Thanksgiving, but it is also
While you are gathering for Thanksgiving, challenge friends and family members to a game or complete a puzzle together to create fun memories!
Just grab the cards, board games, and puzzles and have fun!
If you're new to Aging Gracefully, past issues can be found at the Lucas County Board of DD's web site, http://lucasdd.info/, under Publications.