Adopt A Grandparent

Click here to download a printable brochure
The Adopt-A-Grandparent program ("AAG"), currently in its pilot year, is a program designed to enhance and enrich the lives of elderly individuals suffering from the early stages of Alzheimer's disease. The two-pronged program offers volunteers the ability to work on small teams that provide friendly visitation to elderly individuals in their homes or to work as part of a larger team of volunteers that visit with elderly individuals at Morris View nursing home in Morristown, New Jersey.

Friendly Visitation: Volunteers in the Friendly Visitation program will work in teams of two or three to provide companionship to elderly individuals in their homes. The volunteers will receive training by members of the Alzheimer's Association to prepare them for these visits on February 9, 2007. The AAG committee will also host events to facilitate the visitation. For example, this spring the AAG Committee will be hosting an event where the teams can make spring baskets for their adoptee. All volunteers in the Friendly Visitation program will be subject to a background check through the New Jersey State Police. The background checks will be good for two years. The commitment for this program is one year. During the initial trial run, which will run from mid-February through June, each volunteer will be expected to visit with their adoptee at least 3 times, either on their own or with members of their team.

Nursing Home Visitors: Volunteers in this program will be divided into two teams, a day team and an evening team, based on the volunteers schedule. Currently, the evening team visitation window is scheduled for Tuesday evenings from 7-9 and the day team visitation window is scheduled from 10:30 am - 12:30 am on Thursday mornings. Volunteers will have an orientation on February 12, 2007 to prepare them for their visitation. In addition, the AAG Committee will schedule special events that the volunteers are welcome to participate in and which will also be open to the general JLM membership. For example, the AAG will be scheduling an evening of games such as checkers, poker and bingo. During the initial trial run, which will run from mid-February through June, each volunteer will be expected to visit Morris View during their time window at least 3 times.

Partners: The AAG would like to gratefully acknowledge the assistance of the Alzheimer's Association and the staff of Morris View.

Adopt A Grandparent Wish List

1. Doing Things: A Guide to Programming Activities for Persons with Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders by Jitka M. Zgola
2. Failure-Free Activities for the Alzheimer's Patient: A Guidebook for Caregivers by Carmel B. Sheridan
The Best Friends Book of Alzheimer's Activities, Vol. 1 by Virginia Bell
The Positive Interactions Program of Activities for People with Alzheimer's Disease by Sylvia Nissenboim
Alzheimer's Activities that Stimulate the Mind by Emilia Bazan-Salazar
The Sunshine on My Face: A Read-Aloud Book for Memory-Challenged Adults by Lydia Burdick
Learning to Speak Alzheimer's: A Groundbreaking Approach for Everyone Dealing with the Disease by Joanne Koenig Coste and Robert Butler
The 36-Hour Day: A Family Guide to Caring for Persons with Alzheimer Disease, Related Dementing Illnesses, and Memory Loss in Later Life (3rd Edition) by Nancy L. Mace and Peter V. Rabins
A Caregiver's Guide to Alzheimer's Disease: 300 Tips for Making Life Easier by Patricia Callone, Barbara Vasiloff, Roger Brumback, and Janaan Manternach
The Handholder's Handbook: A Guide for Caregivers of People With Alzheimer's or Other Dementias by Rosette Teitel

1. Front Row Seat - A Sing-Along Video for Older Seniors and Alzheimer's Patients
2. Front Row Seat - More Oldies- A Sing-Along Video for Older Seniors and Alzheimer's Patients
3. Video Aquarium
4. A Caregivers Guide to Alzheimer's Disease
5. The Family Guide to Alzheimer's Disease
6. Dementia & Alzheimer's Caregiving: Through the Looking Glass
7. Communication Strategies for Alzheimer's Patients
8. Best Friends
9. Fading Away
10. Alzheimer's Disease: You Are Not Alone

1. Tribute To A Generation: A Salute To The Big Bands Of The WWII Era
2. Those Were Our Songs: Music of World War II
3. The 60 Greatest Old-Time Radio Shows of the 20th Century selected by Walter Cronkite
4. Chart Toppers: Dance Hits of the 50s
5. Hits of the '50s: 50 Original Hit Recordings

Why Adopt A Grandparent?

• More women than men are caregivers. An estimated 59% to 75% of caregivers are female.

• A number of studies have found that female caregivers are more likely than males to suffer from anxiety, depression, and other symptoms associated with emotional stress due to caregiving.

• The amount of time spent caring increases substantially as cognitive impairment worsens. Among people 70+ years old, those with no dementia receive an average of 4.6 hours per week of care, while those with mild dementia receive 13.1 hours of care weekly. For persons with severe dementia, hours of informal care received rises to 46.1 hours per week. Similarly, nearly one-quarter (23%) of caregivers of someone 50+ with some type of dementia provide 40+ hours of care per week.

• According to a study done in 1994, 68% of those with Alzheimer's Disease are women

• There are now more than 5 million people in the United States living with Alzheimer's.

• Every 72 seconds, someone develops Alzheimer's.

Adopt A Grandparent FAQs

1. If I volunteer for AAG, do I have to go to someone's home?
No, there are two ways to volunteer with AAG. One way is through the Friendly Visitor Program, in which teams of volunteers visit elderly individuals in their homes. The other is through the Nursing Home Visitation Program, where the volunteer is part of a group of volunteers that visit with elderly individuals at Morris View Nursing Home during designated visiting times.

2. Is there any training involved in volunteering for AAG?
Yes, the Friendly Visitor Program volunteers will go through training on Saturday, February 9, at JLM HQ from 9-1. The Nursing Home Program volunteers will go through an orientation on Tuesday, February 12 at JLM HQ from 7-9.

3. How long will the program run this year?
We will be running the program from February through June.

4. What kind of time commitment is expected?
Both the Friendly Visitor Volunteers and the Nursing Home Visitation volunteers will be expected to visit at least four times this year, with each visit lasting two hours or longer.

5. Do I get any credit toward my JLM requirements?

Yes, participation in either the Nursing Home Visitation or Friendly Visitor Program will satisfy your community shift obligation.

6. How many volunteers are needed for each program? The Friendly Visitor Program can only accommodate 9 volunteers this year. However, the Nursing Home Visitation program is open to as many volunteers as wish to participate.

7. Who will need to go through the background check and how will the information be handled?

Only the Friendly Visitor Program volunteers will need to have a background check completed because they will be going into the homes of elderly individuals. The background checks do not require fingerprinting and are conducted by the New Jersey State Police. A report will be sent to the Chair of the AAG committee, who will review the report. If there are no issues, the report will be shredded and a notation will be made that it was conducted without incident. If there are any questions, the volunteer will be contacted and it will be escalated for resolution, which could simply mean making sure the information is accurate.