LEWISTON — SeniorsPlus, the Area Agency on Aging for Western Maine, has announced that their executive staff member, Sharon Foerster, has been awarded a fellowship from the Practice Change Fellows Program to improve the lives of people with dementia. Foerster is one of only 10 individuals in the country to receive the fellowship.

“This is a remarkable opportunity for us to deliver better care to elder adults with cognitive disabilities,” said Betsy Sawyer-Manter, executive director of SeniorsPlus, “and Sharon is the ideal candidate to do this research because of her superior program management skills and her personal commitment to this issue.”

Foerster, a resident of Auburn, has been the director of Elder Independence of Maine for the past seven years. Elder Independence of Maine is a program that coordinates and supervises care for more than 3,000 elder and disabled adults with chronic illnesses. The program helps allow them to continue living at home as they age, and allows them to stay in their preferred and less costly home setting. One-third of the people they serve have a cognitive disability.

The fellowship Foerster received is specifically focused on enhancing service to family caregivers so that they have the resources and support needed to provide care at home for loved ones with dementia.

“I’m very honored to join a network of dedicated professionals who share such a commitment to improving health and health care outcomes for older adults,” said Foerster. “And I am especially excited about this fellowship because I believe there are some real changes that we can make to improve care for those older adults with dementia.”

To learn more about the Practice Change Fellows Program, visit www.practicechangefellows.org.