On February 15, 2017, Serving Seniors announced the launch of the Shiley Dementia-Alzheimer’s Early Detection and Intervention Pilot Program, a vital new service funded through a two-year grant of $100,000 from The Shiley Foundation. The program will provide early detection and referral services for older adults living in the San Diego area who may be suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or other diseases of dementia.
“One in nine seniors are currently living with dementia and with the American population aging rapidly, we recognize the immediate need for a program specifically targeting clients who have yet to be diagnosed or are receiving no treatment for their diagnosis due to lack of resources,” said Paul Downey, president and CEO, Serving Seniors. “We are delighted to be partnering with The Shiley Foundation for training and support to launch this important and much needed program.”
The Shiley Foundation grant will support the appropriate training needed for Serving Seniors’ clinical staff, case managers and home-delivered meal drivers so they may be able to identify and detect the early signs of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, as well as offer clients necessary assistance and medical referrals. The goal is to keep seniors living independently as long as they are able to do so safely. Serving Seniors anticipates in the first year of the program over 450 client evaluations will be made.
During program development, Serving Seniors will partner with the University of California, San Diego’s Shiley-Marcos Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. The Center will provide education and training for drivers and more in-depth training to Serving Seniors clinical staff to provide them with the knowledge base and tools needed to recognize early trigger signs and make accurate assessments. Once a warning sign for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia has been observed in a client, Serving Seniors clinical staff will be able to evaluate the senior in order to make an informed referral to a primary care physician and other service providers based on the client’s needs.
Training for Serving Seniors’ staff will be provided on a regular basis throughout the year with “booster” trainings given as needed. Employee progress and education will be monitored through an assessment plan.
The Shiley Dementia/Alzheimer’s Early Detection and Intervention Pilot Program will enrich services already provided by Serving Seniors to further promote seniors’ independence and improve their access to care. Serving Seniors currently provides comprehensive wrap-around services to older adults living in poverty, including meals, housing assistance and health and wellness programs.