For a comprehensive list of resources available to employers and individuals to navigate the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and to see data relating to its impact on our region, please visit our website.
The Brain Health Club of the Clemson Institute for Engaged Aging Wins National Award
The Brain Health Club, an initiative by Dr. Cheryl Dye of the Clemson University Institute for Engaged Aging, recently won an Aging Innovations & Achievement Award from the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (N4A). Dr. Dye and the Institute partnered with the ACOG Area Agency on Aging to convert a previously closed senior center into a facility that now houses the Institute for Engaged Aging's Brain Health Club, a dementia program in which trained university students facilitate cognitive and social engagement activities for people living with early to mid-stage Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders (ADRD). The Brain Health Club serves approximately 10 people with ADRD twice weekly.
 
For the Adult Participant with Early to mid-stage Alzheimer’s Disease or Dementia, this program provides a safe, loving environment focused on activities to enhance their well-being and quality of life. Participants enjoy a variety of activities designed to socially, creatively, intellectually, physically and spiritually stimulate their body and mind. Examples of some of these activities include group singing, arts and crafts, community service projects, reminiscing, exercise, games, puzzles, and socialization activities.
 
The program also provides respite for the caregiver and supports the efforts of the family to keep the loved one in the home. University students gain invaluable experience through their work in the program as well. In addition, the Club also serves as a resource for information regarding available community resources, Alzheimer’s information, and caregiver education.
 
The partnership between the Brain Health Club and the Appalachian Area Agency on Aging has been an opportunity to bring together different agencies to better serve our seniors and those with disabilities in the region. Please visit this website to learn more about the Institue for Engaged Aging and click here to learn more about the Brain Health Club.
Upcoming Grant Opportunities
Appalachian Regional Commission
Economic Opportunities, Ready Workforce, Critical Infrastructure, Natural and Cultural Assets and Leadership and Community Capacity Applications
Application Requests due: November 23, 2020
Applications Due: February 1, 2021

SC Rural Infrastructure Authority
Basic and Economic Infrastructure Applications
Applications due: March 2021 and September 2021

SC Department of Commerce – Community Development Block Grant
Spring Round Community Infrastructure Applications
Application Requests due: March 2021
Applications due: April 2021

For more information, visit our website, or contact Arlene Young at 864-241-4644
Medicare's Open Enrollment is Now Open
Take advantage of your regional State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) for Medicare’s annual open enrollment period, October 15 through December 7. Medicare’s open enrollment period is when you should review your current coverage and options for the 2021 calendar year. The SHIP Program provides free, in depth, unbiased, one-on-one insurance counseling and assistance to Medicare beneficiaries, their families, friends, and caregivers.

Visit our website for more information. Download the SHIP Medicare Worksheet if you need our staff to complete a Plan Comparison for you. If you have any questions, contact our SHIP Counselors at 864.242.9733 or 1.800.434.4036, or visit our website
Volunteers are Key to Our Success
In an effort to bless our community and the residents we serve, the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program is continuing the annual tradition of adopting a long term care facility in our region to provide Christmas presents and everyday necessities.

Please consider what you can give to assist us in our efforts to give back to our community this Holiday Season. It is even more important this year to help spread cheer to long term care residents who have been isolated from family and friends for so long.

We can accept donations of cash or checks written out to Jessica Winters, Regional Ombudsman. Cash and checks can be mailed to the Appalachian Council of Governments at 30 Century Circle, Greenville, SC 29607.

This year we are also offering an option to donate via Venmo. You can send donations via the app to @SeniorAngelTreeProject.

Thank you for your help and continued support of this treasured annual project!
Photo: Thanks to the donations of our community, last year the Ombudsman Program was able to provide each resident at two facilities in Inman, SC with the items on their wish list, as well as a blanket, toiletries, socks, hat, gloves, snack foods, and an activity book.
Camp Connect Program Brings Families Together During COVID
Currently over 4 million older Americans are finding themselves caring for their grandchildren or great-grandchildren. Many of these caregivers are finding it difficult to relate to the needs of these children because of generational barriers. This need prompted our Family Caregiver Advocates to create a vision for the “Camp Connect” program that would allow families a time to connect. Through a partnership between the Seniors Raising Children program, Foothills Area YMCA, and Oconee County Parks and Recreation an overnight weekend camping experience for 9 eligible families was planned for earlier this year.

Unfortunately, the Camp Connect weekend, which included tent camping, family activities, and yummy food, became another casualty of COVID and was canceled. The Advocates quickly realized they needed to find another way for these families to connect this summer as the pandemic added stresses to already struggling families. Plan B was “Camp in a Box” and the Advocates started assembling packages for each of the nine families selected to participate in the overnight camp. The “Box” included games, snacks, zoo passes, Oconee Park Passes, a birdhouse building kit, and a backpack filled with everything the family would need to spend a day outside exploring nature together.

The Advocates, along with Ranger Ed, hand delivered the boxes to each family and spent time explaining all the items in the boxes, as well as getting to know the families better. Although it wasn’t the original vision, the “Camp in a Box” was a huge success and all of the families were so grateful! The advocates and families are looking forward to their next Camp Connect Event!

If you are over 55 and find yourself parenting a child under the age of 18, call one of our family caregiver advocates to determine if you are eligible for a grant at 864-242-9733.
“Your visit was very welcomed; we were all blown away by the extensive package that your agency put together. We are still enjoying something new each day, the games in particular have all been enjoyed by the family! Thank you for all that the Council of Governments has done over the past several years to help not only this set of grandparents, but all of those you are currently serving. “ – Michael and Bonnie Combs
Regional News and Announcements
  1. Become a Volunteer Ombudsman! Volunteer Ombudsmen work with residents to communicate concerns and provide support and empowerment.
  2. To learn more about the Appalachian Council of Governments, please visit our website.
  3. For more important dates, deadlines, and updates be sure to check our Classes and Events Calendar. Some dates are subject to change.