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(Chelsea Update would like to thank Stephanie Van Koevering for the information in this story.)

Residents of the Towsley Village Memory Care Center, located in at southeast Michigan’s Chelsea Retirement Community, will soon benefit from a new, innovative, medically-proven caregiving program designed to improve quality of life and reduce stress for those with late-stage dementia and their caregivers.

The program is made possible by a $25,000 grant from the Chelsea Community Foundation, an affiliate fund of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan. The grant was made to the United Methodist Retirement Communities Foundation, which provides support to Towsley Village and other senior living organizations in southeast Michigan.

“We are thrilled to have the tremendous support of the Chelsea Community Foundation to help launch this worthwhile project,” says UMRC Foundation president Wendy Brightman. “We look forward to partnering with them to provide the highest quality of care for our residents and their families, and to be a much-needed resource for dementia care in our area.”

Chelsea Community Foundation joins other local funders, including the Michigan Health Endowment Fund and Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation, in supporting the Positive Approach™ training at UMRC.

“Our staff is grateful and delighted to bring the Positive Approach™ training to our campus for the benefit of our residents and families,” said Ashley Martin, Chelsea Retirement Community executive director.  “Adults with Alzheimer’s disease may experience behaviors that become more agitated as the disease progresses, sometimes even requiring hospitalization. By empowering our caregivers and families with this newly-funded Positive Approach™ training, we can reduce or avoid these behavioral challenges for our residents with dementia.”

Michigan currently ranks 10th in the country in terms of the number of older adults living in the state. While Alzheimer’s disease is not part of the normal aging process, the prevalence and likelihood of the disease increases with age.

In Michigan, the Alzheimer’s Association expects to see a 22-percent increase by 2025 in the number of adults who develop this disease, the 5th leading cause of death among adults 65 and older.

“This project is a game-changer for UMRC and our region,” said UMRC president and CEO John Thorhauer.

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