The Porchlight Project: A Pilot Study to Adapt the Senior Companion Program to Enhance Memory Care Services and Supports

Christina E. Rosebush, Henry Stabler, Manka Nkimbeng, Katie W Louwagie, Noelle L. Fields, Eric Jutkowitz, Tetyana P. Shippee, Joseph E. Gaugler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Older adult volunteer programs present an important opportunity to provide low cost, community-based support to families living with Alzheimer’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease related dementias (AD/ADRD). In this mixed methods pilot study, volunteers (n = 15) from the Minnesota Senior Companion Program received training in AD/ADRD and palliative care, with the objective of providing more “dementia capable” support to people living with memory loss and their family caregivers. Volunteers applied their skills by engaging clients in a series of guided conversations over 3 months of dementia capable visits. Despite enrollment challenges, volunteers, clients, and caregivers reported that the intervention was appropriate and useful to improve understanding of memory loss and enhance volunteer-client communication. Results of the pilot study were used to refine the Porchlight Project for a future statewide evaluation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalGerontology and Geriatric Medicine
Volume7
DOIs
StatePublished - May 27 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank John Hobday, CEO of HealthCare Interactive, the organization that developed the CARES? modules. We appreciate the dedication of the Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota senior management and program coordinators. Finally, we thank the senior companion volunteers, persons with memory loss and their families for generously sharing their time and experiences with us. The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This work was supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIA/NIH R61 AG061903). Dr. Nkimbeng is supported by the Robert L. Kane Endowed Chair at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health.

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This work was supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIA/NIH R61 AG061903). Dr. Nkimbeng is supported by the Robert L. Kane Endowed Chair at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2021.

Keywords

  • Alzheimer’s/Dementia
  • caregiving and management
  • community
  • palliative care
  • volunteering

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

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