Riverside Health System announced today it has received a federal grant of nearly $1 million to enhance dementia care across the region. Under the terms of the “Enhancing Family-Centered Approaches to Dementia Care Through Wellness and Training” grant, Riverside will expand on its current programs and partner with nationally recognized organizations to launch new programs in the region that will provide an ability to assess more older adults for dementia, give patients expanded access to physical wellness programs to help enhance their quality of life, and train the family and professional caregivers who provide the majority of support for patients as their disease progresses.

The $999,032 grant was awarded to Riverside through the Alzheimer’s Disease Programs Initiative (ADPI). Riverside was one of 22 awardees nationwide that received a total of $20,400,542.

“A couple of years ago, Riverside leadership challenged its teams to answer the question, ‘what must we do, as a unified, integrated health system, to fully serve older adults and their caregivers who live with memory disorders? And how can we do that not just in one location, but across a region and beyond?’” said Rick Jackson, Executive Director at Riverside Center for Excellence in Aging and Lifelong Health (CEALH). “With this grant, Riverside is taking a major leap forward with the success of many incremental innovations – further strengthening partnerships both within the health system and beyond, and bolstering our family-centered memory care capabilities to benefit a much larger population.”

The grant, awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Community Living, will be managed by Riverside CEALH and include close coordination between Riverside Neurology and Riverside Wellness and Fitness Centers to address the major goals identified in the grant proposal – further extending the quality and availability of dementia care Riverside provides families across southeastern Virginia and beyond.

Under the terms of the grant, Riverside will expand its Geriatric Assessment and Memory Care Clinics to help patients and their families not only receive a dementia diagnosis earlier in the disease process, but also help manage the disease to enhance the quality of life for persons living with dementia.

“Dementia effects, more than any other disease, extend beyond the individual patient – it takes away their independence and subsequently requires others to step in. It has dramatic impact on the patient, the family and the social fabric around the patient,” said Adel A. Aziz, M.D., a highly trained behavioral neurologist with Riverside Neurology Specialists.

Thanks to the grant, more patients will also be able to receive enhanced medication reviews to minimize risks and complications arising from using multiple drugs to treat dementia and other complex health conditions, and a larger number of patients will be able to receive comprehensive geriatric assessments.


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