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Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging Announces Innovation in Caregiving Award Winners

January 10, 2014

The Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging (BRIA) presented two individuals with the Third Annual Innovation in Caregiving Award. Each winner received a $1,000 check and was recognized at BRIA’s annual conference: Caregiving in the 21st Century. The two winners, who were selected by impartial experts in the field, were chosen from among many high-quality, innovative entries submitted in this year’s contest.

Joe Angelo from Canfield, OH, designed Sparx Cards, personalized multi-sensory flashcards for individuals with dementia and their family caregivers. The colorful cards feature photos of loved ones and other meaningful pictures, along with language cues to help caregivers combat the effects of dementia, redirect their loved ones, and enhance interactions. The cards also can be customized to stimulate other senses, including smell, sound, touch, and even taste. “Our product empowers caregivers and may help them with cope with stress while aiding an individual with dementia,” he noted.

Renard Turner from Cleveland developed Luvz Puzzles while working with residents at A.M. McGregor Home. The large-format puzzles feature both traditional shapes and other visual cues to help older adults with cognitive impairment successfully complete the puzzles. “While working with a resident, I wondered if some form of matching the pieces – other than the trial and error method we are all familiar with – would be helpful. I used color on the backs of pieces and matching numbers on the board. Then I tried using both combined, and it worked!” he explained.

The Innovation in Caregiving Award recognizes individuals who in the course of caring for an adult aged 60 or over in a private home or a residential setting invented a device or technique that solves a caregiving challenge or found a new use for an existing device or technology that supports caregiving and eases the burden on caregivers. Awards are made possible through a gift to the Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging by an Emerita Board Member, the late Elizabeth Hitchcock Rose. Applications are now being accepted at for the 2014 Innovation in Caregiving Awards, which will be presented this fall. The Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging is a national leader pursuing innovation in practice and policy to address the important issues of aging. As a champion for older adults, Benjamin Rose works to advance their health, independence and dignity. The organization has established itself as a trusted resource for people who counsel, care for and advocate on behalf of older adults. Last spring, Benjamin Rose opened a state-of-the-art conference center in Cleveland to offer educational programming that is responsive to the evolving demands of an aging population.