Massachusetts Association of Councils on Aging (MCOA) is pleased to announce that Tufts Health Plan Foundation’s prestigious President’s Leadership Fund awarded the organization a three-year grant of $302,068 to support Dementia Friendly Massachusetts (DFM). The grant positions MCOA as the backbone organization for the Dementia Friendly Initiative so more Massachusetts communities embrace and become active dementia friendly communities. MCOA will ensure local, regional, and state actors are coordinating their activities –educating the public, training leaders of local communities, engaging regional service providers and businesses as participants in the DFM movement, developing new public policy, or creating media attention.
The DFM staff will closely collaborate with training partners from the Massachusetts Healthy Aging Collaborative and AARP to further develop and disseminate integrated approaches that communities may use to pursue both age-friendly and dementia friendly initiatives in a streamlined fashion. David Stevens, MCOA’s executive director, stated “The Tufts Health Plan Foundation’s grant will provide the resources to build strategic partnerships, educate and empower municipal leaders who manage local aging services, advocate for policies to improve the quality of life for older adults living with dementia, and ensure the delivery of quality programming to advance healthy aging for older adults.”
MCOA will oversee the DFM Management Committee that includes members from the Alzheimer’s Association, MA/NH Chapter, Jewish Family & Children’s Services, MA Executive Office of Elder Affairs, Multicultural Coalition on Aging, and Leading Age. Dementia Friendly means community institutions embed awareness about dementia friendly practices into their programs, staff training and customer service cultures. For more information, please contact Director of Special Projects, Mary Kay Browne at 413-923-4161.