$500k awarded to local senior programs

New programs benefiting local senior citizens will start soon after The Dayton Foundation awarded nearly $500,000 in grants Wednesday.

The non-profit organization announced the five winners of their first Social Innovation Award for Older Adult Programming.

The Alzheimer's Association, Goodwill Easter Seals Miami Valley, Widows Home of Dayton and YMCA of Greater Dayton were each given $100,000 while Dayton Metro Library was awarded $86,472.

The funds, donated by Del Mar Healthcare, must be used to address issues facing people age 55 and older, said Michael Parks, president of The Dayton Foundation.

"Everyday in Montgomery County, more and more people turn age 65 and nationally, that's about 10,000 baby boomers each day," Parks said, pointing to the growing number of seniors nationwide.

The organizations applied for the awards last fall, proposing new programs to improve the social and physical wellness of area seniors.

The Alzheimer's Association will use its award to provide one-on-one coaching programs to families being affected by dementia as well as create a masters-level internship program on aging, in cooperation with Wright State University.

Goodwill Easter Seals is also teaming with local universities to allow students to work with their senior clients to better educate them about the danger of falls.

"We will be hosting medical students, physical therapy students, physician assistants and nurse practitioners to come and work directly with our seniors," said Amy Luttrell, president and CEO of Goodwill Easter Seals Miami Valley.

Dayton Metro Library plans to purchase 80 iPads to loan to housebound seniors whom they regularly deliver materials to. The Widows Home, located on Findlay Street in east Dayton, will join with other organizations to form the East Dayton Senior Priority Collaborative.

"The partners have come together to provide the facility space, meals and transportation for programs to serve those seniors in our east Dayton neighborhood," Widows Home executive director Jenny Warner said.

The YMCA plans to provide a year-long health and wellness program to 500 seniors, testing their quality of life before and after to track the regiment's results.

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