MEMORI Corps volunteers wanted for study examining social interaction of people with dementia living at home |

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TOWSON – A three-year study led by Johns Hopkins University will examine whether providing regular companionship and personalized activities to people living at home with dementia improves outcomes for all participants: people with dementia, their family carer and their volunteer guide. The Greater Maryland Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association partners with Johns Hopkins to manage and train volunteer Companion Guides. Candidates for the MEMORI Corps (Making Engagement Meaningful through Organized Routine Interaction) Companion Guide must be in good health and 55 years of age or older.

“Science shows that social interaction is necessary to support cognitive health,” says Ilene Rosenthal, program director for the Greater Maryland Chapter. “Recruiting companion guides from a demographic whose social circle may shrink as they age or retire can provide self-affirming validation that they can still contribute.”

Residents of Baltimore City or the following counties are eligible: Allegany, Arundel, Baltimore, Caroline, Carroll, Cecil Dorchester, Frederick, Garrett, Harford, Howard, Kent, Queen Anne’s, Somerset, Talbot, Washington, Wicomico and Worcester.

Tour guides are trained to provide emotional companionship and regular, one-to-one activities for the person with dementia. All interactions are delivered virtually through Uniper Care, an interactive television interface that hosts live and recorded activities designed for seniors.

“Companionship and social engagement are important to all of us, and this is especially true as we age,” says Dr. Quincy Samus, the trial’s lead researcher. “The global COVID-19 pandemic has certainly revealed the negative effects of social isolation, and the MEMORI Corps research trial addresses this issue. We are testing a new way to keep people with dementia at home – connected and engaged – while simultaneously providing meaningful opportunities for volunteers to engage as companion guides, and we also support the health and well-being of their caregivers.

Tour guide benefits include:

• free virtual health and well-being check-ups,

• Up to $2,400 over a 12-month period to serve as a companion guide,

• gift cards worth up to $60 to complete three study assessment visits

• a free 12-month subscription to Uniper Care,

• training, support and education on activities, health, wellness and healthy brain aging, AND

• Opportunities to meet new people in the community.

People with dementia living at home and their care partners who reside in the above areas are also encouraged to consider participating in MEMORI Corps.

Benefits for people living at home with a diagnosis of dementia AND their carer at home include:

• free virtual health and well-being check-ups,

• a free 6-month subscription to Uniper Care,

• a companion guide to provide companionship and regular emotional activities, and up to $140 in gift cards per participant for completing up to seven study assessments.

There is no cost to participate. To learn more, call 410-550-6744 or email memoricops@jhmi.edu.


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