More about the grant
The grant seeks to:
- Increase access of mental health and dementia services to older adults;
- Use advanced tools to provide neurocognitive testing to help diagnose patients;
- Educate patients, family members and providers on dementia, the types of dementias and symptoms;
- Provide information on resources, including for caregivers;
- Provide mobile services in coordination with health fairs, hospitals, and clinics and other providers.
- Provide training for nurse practitioners on comprehensive geriatric assessments and psychiatric evaluations and share results with the patients' primary care providers.
For more information about the open house, contact Bobbi Hartshorn at the college at 402-632-0410.
Nancy Meier, D.N.P., a geriatric nurse practitioner and assistant professor with the UNMC College of Nursing in Scottsbluff, received a $91,500 grant last year from Women Investing in Nebraska. The grant will provide screening and services for dementia and Alzheimer's disease and other conditions that may mimic dementia, like depression and anxiety.
The program is now operating.
The funding will help serve older adults living in the state's 11-county Nebraska Panhandle (100 miles east to west and 125 miles north to south) region, where all counties are designated as shortage areas for mental health services, particularly for those age 65 and older.
Dr. Meier, who grew up in Sidney, Neb., said older adults in the Panhandle continue to struggle with getting the care they need because of limited access to providers with expertise, particularly in the area of mental health care.
"We will work with families and their health providers to detect issues early, which might enable loved ones to live in their home longer," Dr. Meier said. "Our goal is to improve access to care and collaborate with local providers and communities to get patients and families the care they need."
Though the grant funding is for one year, Dr. Meier said services will continue through a faculty practice. Members of the community can seek out services independently or get a referral from their health provider.
The program also will provide clinical training to graduate level UNMC psychiatric mental health and adult geriatric nurse practitioner students. "The goal is if they train here, there's a chance they will stay and practice here," Dr. Meier said.
During the open house, Dr. Meier will make two short presentations about grant services. Refreshments will be served.