Community Involvement Series: Because there are so many various opportunities that may or may not be relevant for your home care agency to participate in, we’re breaking down some we’re aware of that may benefit most depending on the specified services they provide. Today, we’re focusing on a huge opportunity for home care agencies specializing in care for Alzheimer’s and Dementia clients.
In September 2017, I was invited by W. Scott Holmes – the owner of a Visiting Angels franchise in Idaho Falls, ID – to have the company I worked for at the time (Home Care Pulse) become a sponsor and to participate in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s event that year. While it was a great opportunity for us to show our support from our own backyard to a national organization we were working closely with, I saw even more value from others participating. Along with Visiting Angels, there were several other home care agencies and representatives from several area home health and hospice agencies, senior living facilities, and the hospitals. All showing a strength of supporting those suffering from Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
For the weeks leading up to the walk, these businesses sought donations from individuals and businesses in the area and gave donations themselves to secure booth space and more. Many assisted in transporting Alzheimer’s patients and clients, along with family members, out to this sobering celebration. A celebration because of the research, resources, and relief that’s become available to so many through the Alzheimer’s Association’s efforts. Sobering because of the stories of disrupted lives due to this disease and how much more still needs to be accomplished to provide even more relief. Aslo sobering when seeing all the flower windmills set in the ground representing those suffering from Alzheimer’s at various stages: early onset to remembering those who’ve passed away with the disease.
The greatest effect from this event – which I attended the following year as well – was the incredible sense of community. Everyone came together with immense gratitude for each other. Beyond the sobering stories, there were celebrations of lives lived by those with Alzheimer’s and Dementia that have seen improvements. Life-extending treatments and therapies/medications that have shown promising results in helping those with the diseases prolong their lives and that add quality back by helping slow the effects were also celebrated.
Nothing showed me commitment to a cause that negatively affects so many than seeing those businesses from our area come out and commit time, people, and money striving to make a positive difference.
Presently, there are several opportunities throughout the year that you and your home care team can consider and decide which makes the most sense for you to participate in. Go to https://www.alz.org/get_involved to see several opportunities to get involved in. The options that give you the most opportunities for engagement in the community are under the Events section: https://www.alz.org/get-involved-now/fundraising_events.
This year, I am doing the 50-Mile Challenge that takes place through the month of June. I’m either going to get whipped into shape or incredibly sore (or both) while I work on running a total of 50 miles broken up a few miles at a time over the 30 days in June.
Personally, I’m excited about this. I used to run all the time in junior high and high school and more recently with on of my stepdaughters to help her condition for her dance team. But, I haven’t run very much over the last few years. I did even more bike riding since high school, so perhaps I’ll do a Ride to End Alz challenge next.
Decide which is the best for you and year team, then sign up. The Alzheimer’s Association makes it quite simple as they provide all the online and social media support. This includes online tracking of donations and miles, Facebook groups for promoting and support, and Facebook Fundraising tools to help spread the work among all your Friends on Facebook. For example, here’s my fundraiser on FB that was just set up fo the 50-Mile Challenge: Kevin’s Fundraiser for the 3rd Annual 50-Mile Challenge. If you feel so inclined, I’d love your support. When you do, be sure to let Facebook publicly signal your support to others connected to you.
Most of all, I hope that if you are a home care agency that works with clients and families suffering with Alzheimer’s that you find or create opportunities of your own to leverage the involvement with the Alzheimer’s Association to engage with your community in bolstering awareness and support, while simultaniously declaring your value to those you care for.
When you do have something planned, heres what you need to do to promote it and get the most participation:
Next Steps... Take Action!
With these opportunties and many others to consider, be certain to analyze which options are best based on services you provide and your right-fit client audience, prioritize your efforts regarding the event, commit time and resources to it, implement your plans for the event and promotional support for it, and replicate (if successful) so each time you do the event, your successes will continue improving.