Dementia Friendly Communities Coalition
The Loomis Communities, O’Connell Care at Home, and town of South Hadley Departments and Organizations are collaborating on a “Dementia Friendly Communities” initiative. “The responsibility of caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia can be both rewarding and overwhelming,” said Constant. “We want the community to know that there are services available to them to ease the stress of providing care.”
Components of the Dementia Friendly Communities project will include training for fire, police, town officials, businesses and family members for communicating with someone with dementia. Educational programs for individuals affected with dementia and their families will also be offered. The collaborative will provide resources for support and education and enrollment in the “Town of South Hadley Assist Persons at Risk Registry” to help emergency responders appropriate assistance to individuals in need.
“It’s important for the public safety agencies in South Hadley to come together with organizations like Loomis and O’Connell Care at Home, as well as town departments like the Council on Aging to ensure the safety and security of our elderly residents with dementia,” said South Hadley Fire District 2 Chief, David Keefe. “Under Carol’s leadership, we’re trying to create a ‘Dementia Friendly Community’ to provide resources and information to families caring for loved ones with dementia.”
Of particular interest to Keefe is the ability for all of the town’s public safety personnel to efficiently and compassionately interact with dementia patients and their families, especially when there is no immediate medical emergency.
According to South Hadley Police Chief, David J. LaBrie, first responders are “dealing more and more with people that have Alzheimer’s or other dementias,” in the home and out in the community. The Dementia Friendly Communities initiative will provide law enforcement and emergency medical personnel with the tools to effectively interact with them and will provide their families with resources to assist those with dementia.
Sheila Pennell, RN Care Manager at O’Connell Care at Home has spearheaded the company’s involvement with the “Dementia Friendly Communities” initiative. “Our goal is to help educate not only families of dementia patients, but the police and fire departments who may be called to provide medical assistance,” said Pennell. “We strive to create a community in which those living with dementia are safe.”
For a schedule of events and more information: www.dementiafriendlycommunities.org
About O’Connell Care at Home
For more than two decades, O'Connell Care at Home has taken the words "I am more" to heart. O’Connell considers the needs of every individual and family they work with—physical, social, and emotional—and delivers the most complete home health care and staffing services in the Pioneer Valley. Services range from personal care and homemaking, to transportation, geriatric health care management, and advocacy for the elderly. All are performed by some of the most highly trained and fully accredited personnel in the state. O’Connell Care at Home is based in Holyoke with a secondary office in South Deerfield and a Workforce Training and Professional Development Center in Springfield, providing care and services to all surrounding towns including Easthampton, Northampton, South Hadley, Holyoke, Agawam, Wilbraham and Springfield, as well as all of Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin Counties. For more information, log onto www.opns.com or call 413-533-1030.
About The Loomis Communities
With a mission of enriching the lives of older adults, The Loomis Communities offers independent living apartments and cottages, assisted living, skilled nursing care on four campuses in the Pioneer Valley: Applewood in Amherst, Loomis House in Holyoke, Loomis Lakeside at Reeds Landing in Springfield, and Loomis Village in South Hadley. The Loomis House Nursing Center provides residential dementia special care and a monthly care givers support group. For more information, call 413-538-7551.
Other collaborators on the project include:
- Town of South Hadley
- Board of Health
- Council on Aging
- Fire District 1
- Fire District 2
- Housing Authority
- Police Department
- Public Library
- Selectboard Office
- Community Organizations
- Alzheimer’s Association
- Holyoke Medical Center
- Members of South Hadley Faith Communities
- South Hadley and Granby Chamber of Commerce
- South Hadley Drug and Alcohol Prevention Coalition
- WestMass ElderCare
2015 Walk to End Alzheimer’s
Residents and staff of The Loomis Communities raised $10,276 in support of the recent Walk to End Alzheimer’s. All communities held blueberry muffin sales and participants in the walk were sponsored by family and friends. Loomis House had gift basket raffles, a hot dog lunch and sold candy bars. A wine tasting sponsored by Kappy’s Liquors was hosted at Loomis Lakeside at Reeds Landing.
The Walk to End Alzheimer’s is organized by the Alzheimer’s Association. Their mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.
With the goal of having The Loomis Communities be an integral part of life in the Pioneer Valley, a Community Outreach Committee comprised of staff and residents, is delighted to report the following activities during 2014:
2014 Community Outreach Report
- Valentine’s Cookie Sales were held in conjunction with food drives that raised $1,776 and 400 pounds of food for area food pantries; the Amherst Survival Center, Kate’s Kitchen, Holyoke, Neighbors Helping Neighbors, South Hadley, and Open Pantry, Springfield.
- Contributions, sponsorship, a wine tasting, blueberry muffin, candy, cookie and t-shirt sales, paint social art nights, and a car wash all raised $9,605 for the Alzheimer’s Association Memory Walk.
- Events, raffles and payroll contributions brought $6,031 to the United Way of Pioneer Valley.
- Five College Learning in Retirement and Springfield College Learning in Later Life held courses at our campuses throughout the year.
- Springfield Women’s Club and Springfield Photo Club held meetings at Loomis Lakeside at Reeds Landing.
- Twenty eight free talks and performances at our campuses were opened to the public.
- One hundred ninety six pairs of new socks were collected and contributed to the Highland Valley Elder Services and the Holyoke Soldier’s Home.
- Two public viewings and film discussions were held of A Place at the Table, a film about hunger in the United States.
- Loomis House hosted a blood drive for the American Red Cross.
- Used furniture and equipment was donated to the Holyoke Council on Aging, EcoBuilding Bargains and The Salvation Army.
- Applewood residents stuffed packets and mailings for Amherst Survival Center.
- Applewood residents held a voter registration event.
- Loomis Village residents knitted 105 hats for area children and 122 blankets, 8 sweaters for premature babies.
- The Loomis Village bus was used to transport Mount Holyoke College alumnae on reunion weekend.
- Hundreds of pounds of gently used clothing, blankets and household items were donated to Amherst Bangs Center, Amherst Survival Center, Cooley Dickinson Hospital, Goodwill Industries, Hospice Shop of the Hospice Fisher Home, Providence Ministries for the Needy, Salvation Army.
- Residents and staff members wrapped packages for a full day to benefit the Holyoke Hospice Life Care and VNA.
In addition, the Marketing Department provided over $30,000 in sponsorships for numerous events offered by cultural and nonprofit organizations, including:
- Amherst Community Theater
- Arcadia Players, Baystate Medical Golf Tournament
- Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA)
- FallsFest Music and Arts Festival
- Festival of Lights at Tower Square
- Friends of Amherst Senior Center
- Holyoke Council on Aging
- Holyoke High School Musical
- Holyoke Hospice Life Care and V.N.A., Holyoke Medical Center
- Holyoke Rotary Club Summer Concert Series
- Holyoke St. Patrick’s Day Parade
- Holyoke YMCA
- Jazz Ensemble of Mount Holyoke College, Jones Library
- Ko Festival
- Majestic Theater
- Music in Deerfield
- New Century Theatre
- Old Post Orchestra
- Pines Theatre Concerts
- Pioneer Valley Symphony Orchestra
- South Hadley Chorale
- South Hadley Council on Aging
- Springfield Public Forum
- Springfield Symphony Orchestra
- UMass Dept. of Music and Dance
- UMass Fine Arts Center
- Young at Heart Chorus
- Women in Philanthropy of Western MA
- Women’s Fund of Western MA.
In all, nearly $50,000 in cash and hundreds of volunteer hours by The Loomis Communities’ staff and residents were dedicated to support people and non-profit organizations in the Pioneer Valley and beyond!
Committee Members: Rob Claflin, Louise Bevan-Cole, Carol Constant, Tina Ferri, Jean Fusini, Norman Grandbois, Jill Jensen, Betty Odell, Kelley Murphy, Don Owsiak, Diane Reynolds, Charlotte Rockland, Elwin Sanborn and Christine Westerholm