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News & Media

Dementia Intervention Pilot Project Funded

January 5, 2016 (Scarborough, ME) – The Southern Maine Agency on Aging (SMAA) has been awarded a grant from the Physician Hospital Organization of MaineHealth for a pilot project to provide support to people with dementia returning home from a hospital stay or emergency department visit, and their family caregivers.

People with dementia are hospitalized twice as often as people with no cognitive issues, and often for a reason that would be preventable or treatable as an outpatient (Journal of American Medical Association, 1-2011). Hospital stays can easily confuse people with dementia and worsen their cognitive status.

SMAA will be working with Spectrum Generations, the Agency on Aging which serves the Augusta area, to provide enhanced transitional care for 40 people to help prevent another hospitalization or ED visit within 90 days.

Individualized support may include:

  • an initial home visit including an in-home falls-risk assessment and administration of Crisis to Thriving Scale by a Family Caregiver Specialist;
  • home-delivered meals for both participant and caregiver;
  • ongoing phone and in-person consultation;
  • heightened oversight by specially trained Meals on Wheels drivers; and
  • evidence-based interventions, including an introduction to and manual for Balancing Act, a home-based balance improvement program designed by the University of New England; advance care planning through Respecting Choices®; and access to Savvy Caregiver classes and other caregiver support specific to those caring for people with dementia.

About the Southern Maine Agency on Aging
Since 1973, the Southern Maine Agency on Aging has provided residents of York and Cumberland counties with resources and assistance to address the issues and concerns of aging. The Agency serves people ages 60 and older, family caregivers, and people under 60 with a disability. Agency services are devoted to fulfilling its mission of improving the social, emotional, physical and economic well-being of older adults in southern Maine.