SCARBOROUGH – The Southern Maine Agency on Aging, based in Scarborough, has received a grant totaling more than $950,000 to create a network of support for those with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

The grant was awarded by the federal Administration for Community Living, as part of its Alzheimer’s Disease Initiative. The agency on aging is one of only 10 organizations nationwide to receive this grant.

The three-year award will support the development of a new Southern Maine Dementia Capable Service Network – a collaborative effort between a number of local, regional and national partners to expand caregiver services, training and supports for family caregivers, service providers and those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, as well as those with other intellectual and developmental disabilities.

For instance, the Southern Maine Agency on Aging will work with nationally recognized researchers from Johns Hopkins University, Emory University and Thomas Jefferson University to create the training curricula.

“We are pleased to receive this grant not only for how it will allow us to advance our efforts with our dementia programs, but that it is a national recognition of our expertise in the area of dementia treatment,” said Laurence Gross, executive director of the agency on aging.

Gross added, “This award will greatly advance (our) goal of creating a center of excellence in evidence-based dementia care through our new adult day centers and our family caregiver support program.”

The Administration for Community Living is the federal agency responsible for increasing access to community supports, while also focusing attention and resources on the unique needs of older Americans and people with disabilities.

Founded in 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 60 and older, family caregivers and those under 60 with a disability. The agency services is devoted to improving the social, emotional, physical and economic well-being of older adults in southern Maine.

– Kate Irish Collins

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