PA Department of Aging Receives $650,000 Federal Grant for Alzheimer’s Disease, Related Disorders

Joanne Bauer

Joanne Bauer

Published November 3, 2018 4:22 am
PA Department of Aging Receives $650,000 Federal Grant for Alzheimer’s Disease, Related Disorders

elder-1471399_1280HARRISBURG, Pa. – The Pennsylvania Department of Aging has received a $650,000.00 federal grant to help those individuals with Alzheimer’s Disease and related disorders.

The Pennsylvania Department of Aging, in collaboration with the Pennsylvania Association of Area Agencies on Aging, Music & Memory®, and the Greater Pennsylvania and Delaware Valley Alzheimer’s Association chapters, received a three-year grant to improve the state’s efforts in serving individuals with Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders (ADRD).

In addition to the $650,000 grant, the department will be allocating $300,000 as a match, amounting to a total investment of $950,000 for improving the commonwealth’s dementia services capabilities.

Spearheaded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Community Living, the State and Community Alzheimer’s Disease Programs Initiative (ADPI) Awards are three-year cooperative agreements with a total value of $16,913,374. The 2018 awardees are located in 13 states across the country and include 15 community organizations and four state agencies, including the Pennsylvania Department of Aging.

“Receiving this competitive ADPI grant is a tremendous honor,” said Secretary of Aging Teresa Osborne. “The Wolf Administration has remained diligent in pursuing innovative ways to support older Pennsylvanians to age in place with dignity and respect. This grant exemplifies our commitment that through cross-sector engagement we can work together to responsibly and creatively meet the needs of the individual diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and the caregivers who journey with them.”

Called the “Improving PA’s Dementia Capability” project, the grant will allow the department and its partners to focus on making information more readily available and services and supports more accessible for persons diagnosed with ADRD and their caregivers. These efforts will include enhancing websites with updated information and resources relative to ADRD, creating an improved dementia curriculum for PA Link to Aging and Disability Resource partners, Person-Centered Counselors, and Area Agency on Aging Care Managers that will focus specifically on enhancing their ability to identify and communicate in a person-centered manner with individuals diagnosed with a dementia and their caregivers, and implementing the Music & Memory® program in the majority of Pennsylvania’s area agencies on aging.

Created by social worker Dan Cohen, Music & Memory® helps individuals living with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other related disorders reconnect with the world by triggering positive memories through music. Program goals include reducing behavioral problems and lessening or totally discontinuing the reliance on anti-psychotic medications for the person diagnosed while minimizing stress on the caregiver and simultaneously maintaining stability. The individualized music program trains the caregiver on how to introduce and use personalized music and digital music technology into the life of their loved one who is living with Alzheimer’s or dementia in order to vastly improve their quality of life. Music and Memory® is currently available in various long-term care settings in Pennsylvania but is not typically offered to individuals living in their homes or communities.

Pennsylvania is home to approximately 3 million adults age 60 and older, and more than 300,000 age 85 and older. An estimated 280,000 Pennsylvania residents are living with Alzheimer’s disease, and when including related dementias, the estimate is closer to 400,000 – translating to one in 12 Pennsylvania families.

In 2014, the Department of Aging released Pennsylvania’s State Plan for Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders. Since the plan was developed, the department has held three statewide forums and seven regional roundtable discussions to engage with stakeholders and inspire action at the local level. Earlier this year the department announced the formation of Pennsylvania’s Alzheimer’s State Plan Task Force. The task force is made up of dedicated Alzheimer’s advocates who have each been touched by this disease and are committed to taking a lead role in implementing and championing the goals and recommendations of Pennsylvania’s State Plan for Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders.

To learn more about Alzheimer’s disease, visit To learn more about the Music & Memory® program, visit To learn more about the Pennsylvania Department of Aging, visit

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