M4A to kick-off PANDA project to assist with Alzheimers and Dementia

By NATHAN HOWELL | Special to the Reporter 

PELHAM – The Middle Alabama Area Agency on Aging is launching the PANDA Project, which is designed to provide services related to Alzheimers and Dementia.

The PANDA project, Providing Alzheimers ‘N Demntia Assitance, will begin with a kick-off event for community and media on April 2 at the Pelham Civic Complex from 1-2 p.m.

According to the organization, “the Panda Project will provide People with Dementia (PWD), People with Intellectual Disabilities (IDD), and caregivers enhanced direct services interventions, and resources across Shelby County.

The project was created by M4A Project Director Jennifer Fuller, Project Coordinator Jeremy Raines and Marketing and Outreach Director Robyn James.

Funding for the  PANDA program was provided through a grant from the Administration for Community Living to help expand services and create new initiatives for the groups mentioned previously and will officially begin following the kick-off event in April.

“This is an opportunity for the public to find out about these services and know that we have them available,” said James. “We’ve had a 6 month planning phase to use the $1.5 million in grant money, half of which needs to be in the home.”

The organization’s stated goal of the project is to “enable people with ADRD and IDD to remain in their homes, to allow caregivers to continue to provide support, to reduce hospitalizations, and to reduce overall costs.”

Direct services that will be available through the program starting on April 1 include: “individualized person-centered care plans. regular home visits and telephone calls, one-one caregiver interventions & training, homemaker and respite services, transportation, remote safety technology, home modifications, supplemental supplies, medication therapy, management, nutrition counseling, legal help.”

New initiatives created by the program will include: “statewide expansion of the Dementia Friendly First responder Training Program, two new local Caregiver Respite programs available in Shelby County, Healthy brain education workshops, The implementation of a City of Pelham Community Paramedic Program and a Dementia education and marketing program, data collection and evaluation and Panda Project referral system.”

According to James, the program will allow the organization to also present information to mayors all across the county and bring these resources into the home.

For more information about the PANDA project or services provided by M4A, the organization can be reached at 670-5770.