2021 Awardees

Meet the recipients of Maude’s Awards:

2021 Organization Awardees


2021 Individual Awardees


Duet: Partners in Health & Aging

Award Category: Supporting Care Partners

Duet website

Our mission is to promote health and well-being through vitally needed services to homebound adults, family caregivers, faith communities, and grandfamilies. Our values are Dignity, Inclusiveness, Excellence, Commitment and Stewardship. Our Vision is a community where every person ages with compassion, dignity, and hope

Finding Meaning and Hope (FM&H), founded in 2017 and costing $105,000/year, is a free video discussion series for family members caring for someone with Alzheimer’s/related dementias. The program gathers care partners in person or online for 10 weekly sessions led by a trained volunteer facilitator. Based on the groundbreaking book, Loving Someone Who Has Dementia: How to Find Hope While Coping with Stress and Grief, by Pauline Boss, PhD, the program is built on solid research and years of practical experience. A main concept of both book and program is ambiguous loss, a term Dr. Boss coined that refers to the complex grief associated with caring for a loved one who is physically present but psychologically absent. Unaddressed, it often leads to depression, anxiety, relational strain, and poor health. FM&H teaches care partners effective strategies for managing their ongoing stress and grief, while building resiliency and restoring meaning and hope in their lives.

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Giving Voice Initiative

Award Category: Making Connections

Giving Voice website

Giving Voice Initiative (GVI) is a nonprofit that inspires and equips organizations to bring together people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias (AD) and their care partners, to sing in choruses that foster joy, well-being, purpose and community understanding. GVI empowers chorus members to develop their musical capabilities while fostering a community of people on their journey with AD.

Giving Voice Chorus – Connection & Inclusion Through Singing: GVI was founded in 2014. As a unique, catalytic organization, we’ve sparked a movement to build choral music communities around the world, celebrating the potential of people living with dementia. Our year-round choral program reflects best practices from fields of Alzheimer’s, aging, and choral music education. Chorus members gather weekly for rehearsals learning and practicing songs in multi-part harmony with skills encouraging repetition & recall. Rehearsals are also a time for social connection. They help singers improve confidence, memory and mood. Chorus members sing with a care partner, creating a positive experience for both. Participants say rehearsals are the highlight of their week and family members say our choruses give singers back their “dignity and humanity.” Each 14-week session ends with a public concert reaching thousands and providing a sense of purpose and achievement. Our annual budget is $325,000.

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Opening Minds Through Art

Award Category: Making Connections

Opening Minds Through Art website

Our mission is to build bridges across age and cognitive barriers through art. Through this intergenerational work, we envision a world free of stigma for people living with dementia. We believe in: • The creative capacity of all people throughout the lifespan; • Everyone’s rights to autonomy, dignity and integrity; • The necessity of intergenerational connections to bridge the age divide.

Opening Minds through Art (OMA) is an evidence-based, intergenerational art program for people living with dementia. OMA provides those living with dementia and their caregivers opportunities to connect with students and to experience joy through creative explorations. Anyone can enjoy OMA at no cost via the following mediums: • Weekly intergenerational abstract art-making sessions pairing nursing home residents with students; • Creative Caregiving Guide videos (https://caregiving. scrippsoma.org/) showing caregivers how to support art-making at home; • Intergenerational Memory Cafes at a public library and a community arts center; • Virtual OMA offerings connecting college students with people living with dementia and their caregivers via Zoom. Launched in 2007 by Miami University’s Scripps Gerontology Center and since replicated at more than 200 North American communities, OMA serves tens of thousands of people with dementia, caregivers, and students.

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Carol B. Amos

Award Category: Supporting Care Partners

My brothers and I were caregivers for our mother, Elizabeth Boyd, who lived with Alzheimer’s for over 11 years. I have a passion to help Alzheimer’s caregivers. I developed The Caregiving Principle® and introduced it in my 2018 book, H.O.P.E. for the Alzheimer’s Journey: Help, Organization, Preparation, and Education for the Road Ahead. I am also a volunteer for the Alzheimer’s Association. 

The Caregiving Principle, introduced in 2018, is a novel approach to caregiving. It states: Needs of the Loved One minus Needs Filled by the Loved One equals Needs to Be Filled by the Caregiver(s) The loved one has needs and will be able to meet some of his needs. The unfilled needs define the role of the caregivers. As the disease progresses the loved one will be unable to fulfill as many needs therefore increasing the role of the caregivers.

The benefits of The Caregiving Principle:

  • Focuses on the needs of the person with dementia
  • Encourages caregivers to maximize the ability of their loved one by seeking appropriate medical care for physical and cognitive issues
  • Improves interactions with the loved one
  • Encourages caregivers to proactively prepare for the increase need for care
  • Provides a framework for the caregiver’s role
  • Encourages caregivers to take care of themselves by explaining how their role changes as the disease progresses

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Diana Blackwelder

Award Category: Making Connections

I live alone with Young-onset dementia. I knew little about dementia when diagnosed. A life-long learner, I wanted to know more about the disease and how I could continue to live fully and independently as long as possible. Hence my learning journey began 3+ years ago. I share, collaborate and advocate globally and locally to empower others to maintain autonomy, dignity and connectedness.

Since 2018 after being devastated by a diagnosis in 2017 and having nowhere to turn for help, information or support. I share my insights through advocacy, teaching, government testimony and living publicly by example, defying the stigmas and empowering others to regain their “voice” and self worth. I learn from and teach professionals, care partners and others living with dementia. I use this unique introspective knowledge to help others gain insights into their or their loved one’s experience with the disease. I leverage National and International Dementia Organizations, Federal and local Government agencies, and even personal testimony at public hearings to expand my reach across the globe. Showing by example we exist, we have a purpose and we are not ashamed of our disease. I also volunteer my expertise for Smithsonian and US Botanic Garden Access Programs and volunteer trainer for Teepa Snow. 

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Fayron Epps

Award Category: Making Connections

I am an Assistant Professor of Nursing at Emory University. I have devoted my career as a nurse leader to reducing dementia-related health disparities for underserved populations through innovative, culturally relevant programs for the African American community. My work is inspired by the lack of knowledge related to dementia in the African American community and families reporting the feeling of abandonment from their church.

The name of my program is Alter, the only nurse-led dementia-friendly initiative to support African American congregations. The Alter program was designed to build resources and awareness around dementia in African American and faith communities. The program partners with churches over a two-year period to develop a supportive environment that enhances the well-being of African American families affected by dementia. The Alter program works closely with churches to sustain dementia-friendly initiatives. The program offers education programs and a personalized toolbox for all church partners with information, materials, and resources to support dementia-friendly communities. Through working with African American churches, we hope to reduce dementia stigma, enhance empathy, create resource centers, increase awareness, and maintain social and spiritual  connectedness. There is no cost for churches to participate in this program. All support and resources are complementary to our churches and their families.

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Laurette Klier

Award Category: Making Connections

I am a former educator and grant writer, and my mother-in-law lives with Lewy body Dementia. I could not find quality materials to engage her, so I created Nana’s Books to bring her joy.

Nana’s Books is a treasury of nostalgic literature and art, considerately formatted for people living with brain changes. Praise, poetry, prose, patriotism, art and picture books are all crafted to elicit reminiscence, positive connections and social engagement. I started the company in March 2019 and have spent $15,000 to develop the product line. The books retail for $9.99/$10.99. Nana’s Books are unique in that they are based in nostalgia and feature fine art and classic literature to honor identity, intellect and individual preferences. The large format (8.5 x 11) images are not simply labeled, but are accompanied by carefully chosen, meaningful sentiment. Each image is a fully realized scene with magnificent detail that can be revisited time and again.

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Mary Beth Riedner

Award Category: Making Connections

As a former caregiver for my late husband Steve, I developed tremendous respect for his courage and determination to retain his dignity, identity and independence during his 10-year journey through a young onset dementia, Primary Progressive Aphasia. He inspired me to bring my first book and reading program to those living with dementia on a volunteer basis at a local memory care facility in 2008. 

Tales & Travel Adventures (T&TA) is an online adaptation of the inperson Tales & Travel Memories (T&TM) program which I began in 2008. The original program took residents of memory care facilities on imaginary trips to another country or part of the US using library materials. T&TM uses oral reading and browsing through non-fiction books to stimulate memories and conversation. In 2018, T&TM was first offered at two Memory Cafes in Arizona.

When in-person meetings were cancelled due to the pandemic, I adapted the program into an online series, T&TA, starting in May 2021. The series simulates real-time trips to locations I have visited over the past few decades. Participants are invited to read aloud a simple narrative that accompanies photos from each destination. Other literacy activities such as reading poems, singing and playing word games are incorporated into the programs. YouTube videos and PowerPoint 4-slide decks for all trips are free for anyone to use at the website above.

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