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JABA’s New Friendly Visitor Program to Individuals with Dementia

JABA is seeking volunteers for its new Friendly Visitor Program to Individuals with Dementia, part of the Dementia Care Coordination Program, a partnership between JABA and the University of Virginia’s Memory and Aging Care Clinic, made possible by a $1 million federal grant to the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS). The program works to connect individuals with early stage memory loss to resources to sustain quality of life and maintain their ability to live at home. Care coordinators have identified a large unmet need among individuals who have found their world shrinking due to difficulty maintaining former social bonds and who would benefit from the increased socialization provided by a volunteer. Moreover, the time spent interacting with a non-family member can provide enormous support to family caregivers and help reduce caregiver stress.

JABA’s Friendly Visitor Program to Individuals with Dementia seeks to meet this need by pairing volunteers with individuals with early to moderate stage dementia. Volunteers visit one hour each week for 10 weeks following orientation and training, with a focus on engaging the participant in meaningful activities each week.
 
Training: five total hours — two hour webinar from home, 1 hour provided by JABA and a one-hour segment with the Alzheimer’s Association on Monday, August 21, to be trained in the Connections Activity Program, which teaches volunteers how to match a person’s ability with suitable activities that he or she can engage in.
 
For more information, to become a volunteer, or to set up interviews for a story, contact Carleigh Showalter of JABA Volunteer Services at 434-817-5226 or cshowalter@jabacares.org

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