Barnes Trust funds dementia care program at Alzheimer’s Center

Main Street Community Foundation (WEB)

By LINDSAY CAREY
STAFF WRITER

The Main Street Community Foundation (MSCF) presented the Alzheimer’s Resource Center in Plantsville with a $75,000 grant. The funds were grnated by the Bradley Henry Barnes and Leila Upson Barnes Memorial Trust at a ceremony on Monday, March 9 to fund a dementia care program called Hope Full Lives.

“We’re thrilled that your organization is taking steps to reach out to the local community,” said President and CEO of MSCF Susan Sadecki. “We’re looking into seeing what kind of impact the program can have on the local families.”

The Alzheimer’s Resource Center’s Hope Full Lives program was considered among many other programs and chosen by the MSCF’s Advisory Committee to receive financial support from the Barnes Trust.

“We’re honored to be working with you,” said Sadecki. “Mental health is a really important component for all ages at the community foundation and especially the trust and especially the town of Southington.”

Sadecki said that MSCF is committed to helping support mental and behavioral health in Southington, especially in light of some recent teen suicides in town.

Additionally, MSCF commissioned a study in September 2013 about the community health and healthcare needs of Southington. This study identified five areas of healthcare needs in town. One of the five areas was to address substance abuse and mental health needs, so MSCF is using the Barnes Trust to support programs that are seeking to improve mental health in Southington.

Sadecki said MSCF is seeking to build a behavioral health coalition that “will meet hopefully on somewhat of a regular basis, so all the providers can be listening to each other.”

Sadecki said that MSCF has identified that local organizations are not aware of what other local organizations are providing in terms of behavioral health services.

Director of Community Services and Education Stephani Shivers from the Alzheimer’s Resource Center described the three major goals of the Hope Full Lives program.

One goal of the program is to improve the mental health and wellbeing of Southington dementia care partners, who are essentially the spouses and family members supporting dementia patients. Another goal is to build a network of community providers that will positively influence dementia care partners and Southington residents who have mental health issues.

The program will allow the Alzheimer’s Center to provide one-on-one and small group programs like counseling, skill building, and education to dementia care partners.

“These services all seek to decrease an experience of what’s called care giver burden,” said Shivers. “It’s a very well-documented concern for family members who are supporting loved ones with dementia. There are resources for the people who have the disease, but there are not resources for the family members.”

Shivers said that the Hope Full Lives program will identify the dementia care partners and inform them of the resources available to them to support their overall wellbeing. The program will also support community events on dementia and care giving.

The third goal of the Hope Full Lives program is to strengthen community relationships with aging service providers and health care professionals, mental health providers and community organizations to help identify and support Southington dementia caregivers.

This Hope Full Lives Program will be to Southington residents only, as a stipulation from the Barnes Trust, which was created 40 years ago to benefit Bradley Memorial Hospital

MSCF has been the stewards of the trust since 2004, when the hospital became independent and began to operate in the Hartford Healthcare network as the Hospital of Central Connecticut Bradley campus. The now $19 million trust is being used to support other programs that benefit Southington residents.

“This is really an incredible gift to benefit the people of Southington,” said Sadecki.

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