CARESMART ILLINOIS RECEIVES GRANT FROM
THE LAKE COUNTY COMMUNITY FOUNDATION FOR THE
NORTH SHORE DEMENTIA-FRIENDLY FAITH COMMUNITY PROGRAM
Wadsworth, IL. (August 26, 2016) -- CareSmart Illinois is pleased to announce that it has received a $9000 grant from The Lake County Community Foundation. These funds will support the North Shore Dementia-Friendly Faith Community Program. CareSmart Illinois will work with the North Shore Baptist Minister's Alliance and other churches in Waukegan, North Chicago, and Zion to increase community support for families living with dementia.
The project will focus on education and training designed to improve quality of life for families living with Alzheimer's disease or other dementia. It combines the social, educational, and spiritual leadership components of faith communities with CareSmart's expertise in dementia training and support. Grant support will enable CareSmart to conduct a community assessment, volunteer trainings, and deliver educational and support programs for community families living with dementia. Additional financial support is provided by Autumn Leaves (Gurnee/Vernon Hills), BrightStar Care (Gurnee), Right at Home (Northbrook) and Ikor Case Management (Northbrook).
Approximately one in seven adults over the age of 65 display symptoms of Alzheimer's disease or other dementia. Dementia affects a person's ability to function, also impacting family members, friends, and the greater community. This grant is especially important to the partnering faith communities which serve large African American and Latino populations. Dementia rates in these populations tend to be higher because of increased incidence of high blood pressure and diabetes, both major risk factors for dementia. CareSmart is very excited about the opportunity to work with its grant partners to help create culturally-relevant dementia-friendly programs that can contribute to the quality of life for the area's diverse population.
Maggie Morales, Manager of Community Engagement for The Lake County Community Foundation, noted "As the number of Lake County residents age 65 and over continues to grow, the need to support organizations that provide critical services to seniors and their caregivers becomes greater. The Foundation is pleased to partner with CareSmart Illinois to support the establishment of Dementia-Friendly Faith Communities throughout Lake County."
CareSmart Illinois provides educational programs and resources that optimize wellness and quality of life for older adults and caregiving families of adults with disabilities. Founded in March 2014 by a small group of professionals who recognized the importance of community education related to aging, CareSmart has provided over 60 educational programs on topics such as understanding and caring for a person with dementia, user-friendly homes, reducing hospital readmissions, and self-advocacy. The organization has recently expanded its outreach to include community organizations, providing Dementia Awareness programs to first responders, and local businesses. Additional CareSmart services include an extensive website focused on local and wellness resources; telephone consultations with older adults, family caregivers, and aging professionals; and information and referral related to aging, disability, and aging resources. For questions regarding CareSmart programs, contact Chris at 847-596-8226 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
Reasons for volunteering (aka "helping others) include community improvement, giving back, and sharing hope with others. They're all great reasons, for sure. But here's another incentive: volunteering can help to improve your health.
In a 2011 report entitled "Volunteering and Health for Aging Populations," the Population Reference Bureau identified five major health benefits related to volunteering.
It's only natural to want to get something out of volunteering. I can tell you from personal experience, however, that it doesn't take much... a simple "Thank you" from an elder who can no longer drive... a "God bless!" from a family caregiver, a smile from a hungry child. It does makes one wonder who's helping who.
Now that you're more eager than ever to volunteer, check out the wide variety of opportunities below....
"We rise by lifting others." -Robert Ingersoll
A recent New York Times article describes a freshman seminar entitled "Reflecting on Your Life," a series of discussions centered on wise decision-making. Because life is a series of decisions "about where to go from here," the program's essential questions seem worth visiting by all of us from time to time.
One: Am I spending my time wisely? To answer this question, make a list of the ways that you want to spend your time. Now, track how you're actually spending it. What can you learn from comparing your goals and your realities?
Two: How AM I spending my spare time? Time spent in "off-goal" activities might be telling you something important about what want and what you think you want. For example, maybe you really do prefer spending time with people. Maybe you're really not cut out for a desk job.
Three: What gives my life purpose? Are you an explorer who loves to dabble in a wide range of experiences, or are you dedicated to becoming an expert in a specific field of endeavor?
Four: Does my life represent my core values? Make a list of your top five values, e.g., love, dignity, wealth, etc. What do you do when they conflict with one another?
Five: How do I define success? Is it enough to be able to pay the bills while having plenty of time for relaxation, family, and friends... or does success also include meaningful work and/or helping others... or something else?
Whether 6, 106, or somewhere in-between, we're all capable of answering these questions to some degree. With one shot at "life well lived," taking time for a little reflection may help us drive our lives forward with more energy and conviction.
It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.
- quote attributed to ee cummings