Our Bold New Approach to Dementia Care – IOA Blog


For the last couple of years, Institute on Aging has been working hard behind the scenes to develop a comprehensive approach for end-to-end dementia care in the Bay Area. It’s been driven by need; the number of individuals predicted to develop some form of dementia in the coming years is staggering. Almost 1 out of every 5 adults living in San Francisco is 65 or older, and along with growing older comes a population living with various types of age-related illnesses and disabilities, including dementia.

When the COVID-19 pandemic forced our community to shelter-in-place in March 2020, it also meant our social day program at our Enrichment Center in the Presidio had to cease operation. This was devastating to the families that relied on us daily to provide care and brain-stimulating activities for their loved ones with dementia. According to our president and CEO, Tom Briody, “I don’t think anyone could have predicted the incredible toll the pandemic would take on individuals with dementia and their families.”

More than a year later, and thanks to the widespread availability of the COVID-19 vaccine, Institute on Aging is able to once again serve our participants with dementia face-to-face. On June 7, 2021, our Enrichment Center – now renamed the Companioa Enrichment Center, reopened, allowing us to once again serve IOA participants in a welcoming environment.

Along with our reopening, we also added something bold and new—and only available at IOA—that makes in-person care even more affordable and accessible for families. It’s called the Community Cooperative Adult Day Program (CCADP). Funded by a generous grant from the Stupski Foundation, this innovative program enables certain families who qualify to receive low or no-cost care for those individuals with dementia in exchange for service hours performed by his or her family member. Institute on Aging has partnered with The Presence Care Project and DayBreak to pilot the co-op program. 

We are also continuing to offer our customized care coach program for families who want to continue to manage care from home.

“The lack of socialization, not being able to leave the house and the burnout of care partners has been really hard for many families,” said Alison Moritz, Program Director for Institute on Aging’s Companioa Enrichment Center. “We’re ecstatic to be able to finally re-open our doors again and help these folks regain a semblance of normalcy.”

For more information on Institute on Aging’ Companioa suite of programs and services, call our CONNECT line at 415.750.4111.

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