THE ALBANY HERALD
The Thanks Mom & Dad Fund (TMD) has awarded grants to seven organizations that serve older Georgians in metro Atlanta, Gainesville and Southwest Georgia. Services provided range from transportation to post-surgical rehabilitation to music therapy and more.
A $4,689 grant was awarded Wednesday to the SOWEGA Council on Aging for a fall prevention program for seniors.
“It’s tough to say how many people will benefit from this grant, but it is extremely helpful to us” SOWEGA Council Development Director Izzy Sadler said. “We perform individual assessments and provide the items they need to help prevent falls.”
The SOWEGA Council program conducts risk assessments and vision screenings to determine who requires assistance, provides durable in-home equipment — such as grab bars and shower chairs — to prevent falls, and offers safety education. In an early launch of the program from 2012-14, SOWEGA decreased the number of falls by 70 percent.
“Some people may need one item, others may need several,” Sadler said. “Our initial study showed we could serve 21 people, but I hope we’ll serve more than that. We’ll use the money until it runs out.”
The Thanks Mom & Dad Fund was created to honor parents, grandparents and mentors by supporting programs and services for the aging population. The fund is intended to improve the quality of life for older adults, to raise awareness about the unmet needs of seniors, and to dispel stereotypes about aging. The TMD Fund was created by the Atlanta Regional Commission Area Agency on Aging in cooperation with the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta.
TMD officials say the organization’s goal is to make funding available to a broader number of aging programs, to strengthen its statewide presence, and, long term, to develop into a national foundation that supports services for the elderly.
Through ongoing fundraising and grant making, the fund seeks to engage the public in support for programs raising awareness and promoting vital services provided by agencies serving older adults. The fund’s current sponsors include AARP Georgia, ARC, Georgia Natural Gas, Georgia Power, General Building Maintenance, Neuroplastix, Inc., Gilbert & Sheppard, Nelson-Mullins, WSB-TV, and Canterbury Press.