The theme for Integrated Project Management Company’s (IPM’s) quarterly philanthropic effort often stems from one employee’s personal experience. Such was the case in the third…
Today, more than 11 million Americans provide unpaid care for people suffering with Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia. These caregivers struggle with challenges like high stress levels, financial strains, grief, and burnout as they navigate these unpredictable diseases. That’s why Integrated Project Management Company (IPM) chose “Caring for the Caregivers of Alzheimer’s and Dementia Patients” for its first-quarter Integrated Project Mercy theme.
IPM volunteers from the Boston office organized materials for the Alzheimer’s Association of Massachusetts/New Hampshire. Alzheimer’s Association is a nonprofit that supports global research, risk reduction, and maximizing quality of care and support for those fighting Alzheimer’s disease. Each year, the organization hosts 12 charity walks and a bike ride. For the opening ceremony at each event, they hand out faux flowers in varying colors, depending on the participant’s relationship to the disease. Then the flowers are collected and stored for the next year. However, organizers didn’t have an efficient way to collect, organize, and label the materials for easy distribution the following year. So IPM stepped in to provide a repeatable solution. The team sorted more than 12,000 flowers for the event. They also inspected 33 event tents for proper set up and noted if any needed repair.
Boston volunteers also facilitated social meetings for Memory Café, a Massachusetts-based organization that provides a social space for people with dementia and their caregivers. IPMers printed and laminated sheet music and played the songs at the café for people to sing along to and discuss afterward.
In Chicago, IPMers volunteered at Lutheran Home, an elderly and memory care facility in Arlington Heights, IL. The team developed landscaping plans, then purchased and planted flowers for the residents and staff to enjoy in their outdoor space.
A team from IPM’s Los Angeles office volunteered with Leeza’s Care Connection, a nonprofit supporting Alzheimer’s caregivers. The organization develops and facilitates programs such as support groups, educational workshops, and wellness activities to ensure caregivers have the support, energy, and wellbeing needed to care for their loved ones. The LA team facilitated a virtual dementia tour which provided caregivers with an immersive experience as an Alzheimer’s patient. These types of activities foster compassion, connection, and an understanding of how to better care for those who are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. IPMers helped organizers set up the event, prepare and onboard participants, and clean up afterwards.
Volunteers in Minneapolis supported the Alzheimer’s Association by attending the Day at the Capitol. At this annual event, Alzheimer’s advocates converge on state and national capitols to rally for critical legislation that supports disease research funding. IPM team members attended the event and provided boxed lunches for advocates in attendance.
In New Jersey, IPMers provided financial support to Caregiver Volunteers of Central Jersey. This organization is an interfaith nonprofit that provides free support services to the elderly and homebound, which allows them to live independently and comfortably in their own homes.
The team also donated to Alzheimer’s New Jersey’s Respite Care and Wellness program. This program provides caregivers with guidance and education on coordinating regular time off from caregiving duties and helps caregivers connect with community respite care resources.
A team from the San Francisco office volunteered for Hearts and Minds Activity Center, the first large-capacity, dementia-specific adult day program in the United States. The organization provides safe, enriching, functionally appropriate activities for adults diagnosed with dementia. IPMers improved the center’s outdoor space by refreshing their raised vegetable beds, planting colorful flowers in “Grandma’s Garden,” and adding large potted plants to beautify a bare area. IPM also sponsored a hot breakfast and snacks for caregivers taking part in a training session on the same day.
Another IPMer returned to the center the following month to perform a piano concert for residents.
Volunteers in from IPM’s St. Louis office supported the Alzheimer’s Association by building 50 “busy boards.” These activity boards include things like latches, buttons, and locks, which patients engage with to help with memory and fine motor skills. Caregivers specifically benefit from the busy boards, as they usually provide entertainment for patients while they work on other things around their homes.