Winter Park Health Foundation Grants More than $51,000 to Programs for Older Adults

The Winter Park Health Foundation (WPHF) has awarded more than $51,000 in grants to support programs that will match older adult mentors with children of incarcerated parents, aid older adults with vision problems and assist older adults with depressive symptoms.

Here are the grants:

Amachi Volunteer Program-$21,102 grant

Offered through RSVP (the Retired & Senior Volunteer Program), the program matches caring, mature adults (55 and older) with children ages six to 17 who have one or both parents incarcerated. The formal mentoring commitment is for one year, though relationships may be ongoing.  The mentor spends a minimum of one hour per week meeting with the child as the pair forges a new, trust-filled relationship.  Mentors provide a consistent adult presence, support for the relationship with the incarcerated parents, exposure to new experiences, and advocacy for the child as needed.

It is a win-win relationship which results in children gaining self-confidence, and improving academic performance and social interaction skills, and older adults gaining personal gratification and increased social involvement

The Dr. P. Phillips Foundation has funded the first year of the project and half of year two.  WPHF funds will serve as the required match, funding 50% of year two expenses.

Amachi will work with WPHF staff to attempt to reach families in Winter Park Consortium schools.

Vision Rehabilitation Services for Adults and their Families-$25,000 grant

Vision Rehabilitation Services is a program operated by Lighthouse Central Florida, Inc. and is directed to older adult clients with blindness or low vision.  The program includes orientation and mobility skills training to teach clients how to move safely in a variety of environments; Braille training for reading and writing; and technology course instruction to assist with the use of modified computer equipment.  In addition, the program includes independent living skills training as well as group counseling and support services for both clients and their families.

Healthy IDEAS (Identifying Depression, Empowering Activities for Seniors)-$5,000 grant

Healthy IDEAS is a depression self-management program designed to detect depression and reduce the severity of depressive symptoms among community-dwelling older adults.

The grant to SRA funds a readiness assessment study by a Houston-based replication team to determine if the local community has the necessary partnerships to successfully implement the program. After the readiness assessment, the WPHF may consider an additional grant to fund service delivery.  Care for Elders and Baylor College of Medicine manage replication of the Healthy IDEAS program in new communities throughout the U.S..