Thrive by IU Health

July 18, 2023

HRSA grant to expand dementia services in southern Indiana

HRSA grant to expand dementia services in southern Indiana

A $1.17 million grant will bring dementia services to more people living with dementia (PLWD) and their care partners in south central Indiana, an area that has greater populations of older adults than the state average. IU Health Foundation developed the grant application with Alzheimer’s and Dementia Resource Service in Community Health at IU Health Bloomington Hospital and the Rural Dementia Network (RDN) of South Central Indiana.

The grant, from the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA), supports expansion of RDN into Jackson and Martin counties and enhances RDN’s current services in Lawrence and Orange counties.

"As the population continues to age, it’s important that we show compassion to people with dementia and strengthen the assistance available to their caregivers," said Cassandra Tice, Grants Director at IU Health Foundation. "We are grateful to HRSA for supporting RDN and the growing numbers of people who can benefit from its services."

The new funding will:

  • Support a new co-director of RDN
  • Engage new community partners to join RDN
  • Add a “Brain Health” initiative in all four counties that educates participants on the signs of cognitive decline and how to maintain the five pillars of brain health
  • Establish a monthly “Memory Clinic” where newly diagnosed PLWD and their caregivers will meet with an educator about their diagnosis to discuss next steps and resources
  • Facilitate classes and an annual conference to educate community members and local businesses on how to support PLWD and their care partners and create more dementia-friendly environments
  • Develop collaborative strategies with public and private partners to sustain RDN and its services beyond the grant period.

In support of the “Dementia Friendly Communities” model, a nationally recognized approach, the funding will also expand current RDN services:

  • Community education to promote awareness of brain health and combat stigmas regarding cognitive decline
  • Specialized training for hospital, long-term care, and other healthcare staff in “Dementia Friendly” care practices
  • Training certified nursing assistants and home health aides through the Dementia Friendly Care Partner Development Program
  • Coalition-building, including leading local “Dementia Friendly Community” efforts
  • Care partner support groups, transportation support, and respite assistance.

To support the healthcare priorities important to your part of Indiana, contact IU Health Foundation’s regional philanthropy directors.