Area Agency on Aging 1-B has won the coveted Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation Caregiver Prize of $250,000 for a caregiver support program we developed in Washtenaw County, one of six counties in our coverage area. The award is among the largest given in the Vital Seniors Prize Competition, a program of the Glacier Hills Legacy Fund at the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation.
Our program, Reimagine Caregiving: 12 Innovations for Washtenaw Family Caregivers, offers a multifaceted approach to connect caregivers to supports and services in the community, including training, a resource hotline, and expanded respite options.
“We are thrilled to be chosen as recipient of this prize,” says Amanda Sears, grant manager in AAA 1-B’s Research, Policy Development and Advocacy department. “We worked hard for several months to develop a comprehensive program to enhance the lives of family caregivers and we are excited to put our plans into action.”
The prize money will go toward expanding our community-based services in Washtenaw, including: creating a caregiver information and resource hotline; expanding our Grandparents Raising Grandchildren program to include individual counseling; developing a private site for overnight respite for family caregivers; expanding adult day care service hours to enable caregivers more flexibility; expanding the reach and quality of a volunteer caregiver program; creating a family caregiver learning institute and providing caregiver education on common legal problems they may face.
AAA 1-B provides direct and indirect care services for roughly 700,000 seniors and disabled adults in Oakland, Macomb, Livingston, Monroe, St. Clair and Washtenaw counties. They include Meals on Wheels, in-home assistance, Medicare and Medicaid counseling, wellness classes, respite care for caregivers and mobility assistance – all geared to helping people maintain their independence in their homes and communities.