MEMORI Bodies Wanted for Study Examining Social Interaction for People Living at Home with Dementia | national news


TOWSON – A three-year study from Johns Hopkins University will examine whether providing regular companionship and personalized activities for people with dementia at home improves outcomes for all participants: people with dementia, their family carer and their volunteer support guide. The Greater Maryland Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association has partnered with Johns Hopkins to manage and train the volunteer guides. Candidates for the MEMORI Corps Companion Guide (Making Engagement Meaningful through Organized Routine Interaction) must be in good health and be 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 weaken as they age or retire can provide self-affirmation validation that they can still contribute.”

Residents of the City of Baltimore 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.

Coaching Guides are trained to provide regular, individual companionship and emotional activities to the person living 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, principal investigator of the trial. “The global COVID-19 pandemic has certainly exposed the negative impacts of social isolation, and the MEMORI Corps research essay addresses this issue. We’re 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. In addition, we also support the health and well-being of their caregivers. “

The benefits of the companion guide include:

• free virtual health and well-being assessments,

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

• gift cards worth up to $ 60 for making three study evaluation visits

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

Benefits for people living at home with diagnosed dementia AND caring for them at home include:

• free virtual health and well-being assessments,

• free 6-month subscription to Uniper Care,

• A companion guide for providing companionship and regular emotional activities, and up to $ 140 in gift cards per participant for performing up to seven study assessments.

There is no charge to participate. To learn more, call 410-550-6744 or email

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