HCN News & Notes

State Awards $2.4 Million to Expand Day Programs for Older Adults

BOSTON — The Healey-Driscoll administration awarded approximately $2.4 million to 20 organizations and communities across Massachusetts to broaden supportive and social day programs, enabling awardees to meet the needs of historically underserved populations, building on the administration’s plan for advancing health equity in Massachusetts.

Funded by American Rescue Plan Act home and community-based services, the grant program is designed to help community organizations expand or launch supportive and social day programs in the community for older adults and individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, enhancing the overall dementia-friendly infrastructure across Massachusetts.

“We’re proud to support these organizations that are doing incredible work across our state to serve older adults, especially those who are suffering from Alzheimer’s and related dementias. It’s important that our older adults and their loved ones can feel confident that they are receiving the best care possible,” Gov. Maura Healey said. “Our administration is proud to award this funding that will make Massachusetts more welcoming and livable for residents of all ages.”

Recognizing that historically underrepresented communities lack access to supportive and social day programming, funding will be awarded to rural communities and gateway cities, and will focus on developing programs in Portuguese, Haitian Creole, Chinese, Spanish, and American Sign Language.

Grant awardees will use funds to address unmet needs of supportive and social day programs in the community, launch or expand culturally tailored programs, and enhance the age- and dementia-friendly physical space where the program is housed.

“Social and supportive day programs can have so many positive impacts on the individual and their family caregivers,” Health and Human Services Secretary Kate Walsh said. “While the older adult is enjoying this programming that is now available to them, their caregivers will have an opportunity to care for themselves, engage in the workforce, and then reconnect with their loved one at the end of the day.”

Secretary of Elder Affairs Elizabeth Chen added that “social and supportive day programs are essential to support our most vulnerable aging adults. These programs provide a safe space for those with Alzheimer’s and related dementias to gather, stimulate conversation, and foster connections. A number of these programs shut down during the pandemic, leaving these residents without a place to go, so the creation and expansion of the awarded programs is so important for our communities post-pandemic.”

Grants range from $15,000 to $300,000. Funding will be awarded to 20 organizations representing 79 municipalities across the Commonwealth. Grant projects will begin later this month and conclude in March 2025.

Grant awardees include Alzheimer’s Family Support Center, Bristol Elder Services, Center for Human Development, Charles River Center, Developmental Evaluation and Adjustment Facilities, Greater Boston Chinese Golden Age Center, LifePath, Martha’s Vineyard Center for Living, Mary Ann Morse Healthcare Corp., the cities of the cities of Framingham and New Bedford, and the towns of Andover, Bridgewater, Chatham, Dighton, Fairhaven, Hanson, Holliston, Marshfield, and Orleans.