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Elder Care Alliance Launches Arts-Based Dementia-Inclusive Communities Initiative

ALAMEDA, CA–Elder Care Alliance (ECA) announces the creation of Dementia-Inclusive Communities, an interdisciplinary initiative fostering resilient, multi-generational communities through the arts.

Building on ECA’s vision of Engaging hearts, Transforming lives, and Erasing boundaries, the Dementia-Inclusive Communities Initiative brings creative resources and practical assistance to communities in San Francisco and throughout the Bay area. With the support of the dementia-inclusive communities director, community partners and stakeholders will be invited to collaboratively plan a series of experiential art events. In 2019, ECA will host an interdisciplinary convening to discuss continuing the work of co-creating inclusive, intergenerational and creative communities.

Sadie Harmon was hired as dementia-inclusive communities director by ECA to guide the Dementia-Inclusive Communities Initiative. Before joining ECA, Harmon was director of the Performing Arts Institute at Stagebridge, an Oakland nonprofit and pioneer in Creative Aging. She brings with her a passion for the arts and a dedication to age and dementia inclusion.

“The arts are essential to growing sustainable communities for all ages,” said Harmon. “This initiative centers older people, people living with dementia and their care partners in a nurturing shared culture.”

The initial stage of the project will focus on the Tenderloin, SOMA, Bayview-Hunter’s Point, and Mission District neighborhoods of San Francisco. Acknowledging the ways in which gentrification and displacement particularly affect older people and caregivers, specific attention will be paid toward strengthening intergenerational ties and cultural preservation.

“This initiative represents the first step of many that Elder Care Alliance will take to expand our relationships within the communities we serve, enabling us to strategically grow our offerings to all Californians,” said Rosemary Jordan, vice president of strategy and innovation for ECA.

Adriene Iverson, president and CEO of ECA, agreed.

“The Dementia-Inclusive Communities Initiative allows Elder Care Alliance to broaden our mission impact, reaching older adults and their care partners who might never live in an ECA community,” said Iverson. “This directly reinforces our commitment to creative engagement and is an excellent opportunity for us to amplify our vision of Engaging hearts, Transforming lives, Erasing boundaries.”

In support of this project, Elder Care Alliance has received its first grant from The San Francisco Foundation (TSFF) and thanks them for their investment in bringing this bold new idea to life.

Elder Care Alliance is a California-based nonprofit organization. Operating from both the mind and the heart, the Elder Care Alliance mission is to serve and enrich the holistic wellness of older adults and those who care for them through education, innovation and a network of professionals. Elder Care Alliance communities offer a variety of services, including assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing and independent living.