By Lisa Levine

On May 23-24, 2023, Dementia Alliance of NC launched our Inaugural Ambassador Program hosted by the Senior Enrichment Center in Moore County, NC.

In this first cohort, 9 attendees, representing 3 counties, included volunteers and senior service providers who wanted more education and support for their communities.

The launch included in-depth training focusing on how to work with caregivers, access to local resources, and how to engage with their community as Dementia Alliance of NC Ambassadors. Other topics covered included:

  • Dementia 101
  • Dementia Research Updates
  • An overview of DANC programs, services, and core values
  • Duke/UNC’s ADRC (Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center)
  • NC Brain Health Registry
  • Dementia Live Simulation
  • Dementia Sensitivity Training

The interactive group left with ideas on how to improve the lives of those living with dementia and how to distribute information and resources in their local counties. Networking with one another provided new connections and highlighted new opportunities to collaborate.

Ambassadors’ Plans include:

  • Putting information on their business websites and linking back to DANC’s website or materials
  • Starting support groups in their communities
  • Working with DANC to put on workshops in their counties
  • Providing information to local healthcare providers
  • Including DANC/dementia information in organizations’ newsletters
  • Speaking to local civic organizations
  • Exploring Memory Cafes or Caregivers Day Out Programs
  • Creating fundraisers for DANC
  • Enhancing current faith-based dementia ministries
  • Helping to connect information and training to local CNA programs
  • Music and Art Programming

The cohort plans to meet in six months to discuss what they have accomplished in their communities as well as provide additional information, resources and education.

In the future, we will replicate this training annually and work with people across the state. Our goal is to build a network of Ambassadors throughout North Carolina.