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Minnesota Board on Aging grants will help support people with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia

9/6/2023 11:00:00 AM

Thirteen organizations across Minnesota will have resources to increase awareness of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, promote early diagnosis and connect caregivers to resources, thanks to new grants from the Minnesota Board on Aging. 

“These grants are strategic investments that can make huge impacts for these organizations and the people they serve,” said Maureen Schneider, interim chair of the Minnesota Board on Aging. “For small organizations doing the important work to fight Alzheimer’s and related dementias, this kind of funding can make the difference between keeping or losing a program or staff position.” 

The board is issuing $750,000 in grants to the organizations listed below.

  • African Immigrants Community Services (AICS), Minneapolis, $49,995, for dementia awareness education in the Twin Cities Somali and East African communities through a series of short videos produced by Somali TV, focused social media outreach, and in-person presentations at faith-based and community-based agencies and local gathering venues.
  • Amherst H. Wilder Foundation, St. Paul, $49,449, to offer pre-diagnosis screening and functional cognitive assessments in natural community settings for up to 60 people living with Alzheimer’s and related dementias. This includes Wilder clients in Customized Living and elder Southeast Asians served through Wilder’s Center for Social Healing.
  • CAPI USA, Brooklyn Center, $76,125, to secure expertise to create a dementia-friendly Hmong Folk Chorus that honors and shares the cultural knowledge of Hmong elders while reducing social isolation. Intended for both Hmong speakers with dementia and their family and friend caregivers, the pilot will uphold traditional culture while offering culturally specific dementia education.
  • Comunidades Latinas Unidas En Servicio – CLUES, St. Paul, $75,000, to reach Latino elders and their family and friend caregivers in the Twin Cities, Austin, Willmar and Worthington with dementia education and early identification resources, caregiver support services and connections to community services. 
  • Family Service Rochester, Rochester, $148,914, to work in partnership with Olmsted Medical Center in Rochester and FiftyNorth in Northfield to offer multi-site dementia education and referral specialists, strengthen coordination between health care and community-based organizations, and organize region-wide public forums on brain health, memory care and caregiver supports.
  • Horizon Health, Pierz, $12,440 to support outings for people with dementia and their family and friend caregivers, create sensory activity kits available to check out at area libraries, and offer advanced training in dementia care for Horizon staff. 
  • Koochiching Aging Options, International Falls, $41,220, to extend awareness of dementia county-wide through a refreshed Dementia Friendly Community initiative with new campaign materials and resources to reach new audiences. The funding will also enhance the respite function of a Memory Café by offering several mini self-care retreats; continue one-to-one support from a Dementia Care Specialist; and expand regional connections with social service and health care providers. 
  • Lao Advancement Organization of America, Minneapolis, $47,262, for early identification and increased cognitive testing for Lao speaking elders and their family and friend caregivers. The grant will also support continued relationship-building and culturally informed screening and testing capacity among Greater Minnesota health care providers in areas where Lao speaking families live, including Warroad, Worthington and St. Cloud.
  • MapHabit, Owatonna, $51,742, for pilot projects in St. Paul and Granite Falls. The MapHabit interactive platform draws on the neuroscience of habit to create a visual mapping system to improve activities of daily living for people with dementia; it also offers education, task mapping and scheduling for family and friend caregivers. 
  • SEWA-AIFW, Brooklyn Center, $94,992, to enhance efforts around early dementia awareness and education for the Twin Cities’ South Asian community, while continuing support for family and friend caregivers and expanding access to culturally appropriate screening at recognized, trusted community sites. 
  • Tri-Community Living at Home/Block Nurse Program, Newfolden, $39,124, to make accessibility upgrades to Tri-Community’s primary program education site and begin to offer dementia education sessions and screens at this and other sites in the service region.  
  • VINE Faith in Action, Mankato, $53,180, for work in dementia education and awareness; programs in brain health and training; memory screening; and evidence-based caregiver education and depression support in Blue Earth, Le Sueur, Watonwan and Nicollet counties. 
  • Winona Friendship Center, Winona, $10,557, to develop a free, weekly community health clinic in partnership with Bridges Health/Winona State University. The clinic will offer accessible access to cognitive and hearing screenings for people aged 50 and older who may be uninsured, underinsured, undocumented or otherwise distrustful of mainstream medical providers.
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