Business briefs – September 15

Group offers Alzheimer’s education event

INDIANAPOLIS – The Alzheimer’s Association Greater Indiana Chapter offers free education for families affected by Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Topics range from the basics of Alzheimer’s and dementia and how to identify the 10 warning signs to legal and financial planning and how to communicate throughout the various stages of the disease.

“Education is vital,” said Lauren Lay, Assoc. Director of Community Engagement. “Unfortunately, we do not have a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. But, we can positively impact the journey through education, care and support.”

The Association will host “Know the 10 Signs” Tuesday, Sept. 5, at 3 p.m. at Community Heart & Vascular Hospital, Conference Room, located at 8075 N. Shadeland Ave., in Indianapolis. In this introductory program, attendees will learn about the 10 warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease and an understanding of the difference between age-related memory loss and Alzheimer’s. This program will also be offered Tuesday, Sept. 12, at 10 a.m. at Community Health Pavilion Speedway, Community Room, located at 1011 N Main St., in Speedway.

“Effective Communication Strategies” will be offered Thursday, Sept. 7, at 2 p.m. at Community Heart & Vascular Hospital, Conference Room, located at 8075 N. Shadeland Ave., in Indianapolis. Attendees will learn to decode the verbal and behavioral messages delivered by someone with dementia, and identify strategies to help them connect and communicate at each stage of the disease. This program will also be offered Thursday, Sept. 21, at 5:30 p.m. at Hancock Regional Hospital, located at 801 N State St., in Greenfield.

“Understanding and Responding to Dementia-Related Behaviors” will be conducted Thursday, Sept. 14, at 2 p.m. at Community Heart & Vascular Hospital, Conference Room, located at 8075 N. Shadeland Ave., in Indianapolis Attendees will learn about some of the common triggers for behaviors associated with dementia, how to assess the person’s needs and how to intervene effectively.

“The Basics: Memory Loss, Dementia & Alzheimer’s Disease” will be conducted Monday, Sept. 18, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Brandywine Community Church, located at 1511 E New Road, in Greenfield. This program teaches attendees about detection, causes and risk factors, stages of the disease, treatment and much more.

There are no fees to attend programs, but registration is requested by contacting the Alzheimer’s Association 24/7 Helpline at 800.272.3900. For a full listing of our education programs, visit alz.org/Indiana.

The Association is calling on dedicated volunteers statewide to assist in delivering education programs as Alzheimer’s Association Community Educators. Volunteers help the Association better service Indiana communities by spreading awareness of Alzheimer’s disease, caregiving tips and connecting people with valuable resources. Please contact IndianaVolunteer@alz.org for more information on how to get involved.

Today, more than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease, including 110,000 Hoosiers. Alzheimer’s disease is the nation’s sixth-leading cause of death in the United States. The direct and indirect costs of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias amount to more than $236 billion annually.

DSI, Four Rivers will merge to save costs

INDIANAPOLIS – Developmental Services, Inc. and Four Rivers Resource Services, Inc. will finalize a merger Nov. 1 making the combined service agency one of the largest non-profits of its kind in Indiana. Together, DSI and Four Rivers serves children and adults with disabilities in 56 counties in central and southern Indiana.

The merger will not affect services but should save costs through shared resources like staff training and administrative support, said DSI Chief Executive Officer Shane Burton.

“We hope to save (costs) in some areas through efficiencies, but we will not compromise our promise to provide quality services to our clients and their families,” said Burton. “In fact, any cost savings will be invested to enhance client services.”

The merger was developed through many months of insight and input from stakeholders, senior management and board members, Burton said. With state and federal funding sources evolving and economic conditions ever-changing, it makes sense for the organizations to combine their efforts to implement more innovative services so that our consumers can find jobs, safe living environments, healthy lifestyles, and community involvement, Burton added.

Both Four Rivers and DSI were created through grassroots efforts in the 1960s by advocates, parents and guardians of individuals with disabilities. Four Rivers was founded in 1986 and currently serves 14 counties in southeast Indiana while DSI first opened its doors in 1975 and serves 44 counties the central and southern parts of the State. The two organizations share some counties.

According to Steve Sacksteder, Chief Executive Officer of Four Rivers since its inception, the union of DSI and Four Rivers makes sense in light of the close relationship the two organizations have enjoyed for the past three decades.

“We’ve considered the folks at DSI close friends for many years,” Sacksteder said. “We’ve shared training and expertise. We’ve advocated for and served many of the same families and our mission is really the same. Together, we will be able to offer more comprehensive services to many of our consumers because we can combine program resources and offer more choices as well as share the very best service delivery practices. This union strengthens our ability to support our staff as well.”

DSI and Four Rivers currently provide supported living, group homes, job placement and supported employment, work services, adult day services, preschool, health and wellness, affordable housing and information and referral.

Four Rivers will continue providing public transportation as well.

Developmental Services, Inc. and Four Rivers Resource Services, Inc. are not-for-profit organizations that provide services and supports to children and adults with disabilities in a combined 56 county area in Indiana. DSI and Four Rivers have industry and service facilities in 11 counties. For more information, visit www.dsiservices.org and https://www.frrs.org.