Key Takeaways

NISC Programs of Excellence 

  • Year Awarded: 2021 (see all 2021 Programs of Excellence Winners)
  • Programs of Excellence Name: Honoring Legacies
  • Hosting Organization: Groton Senior Center, Groton, Connecticut
  • Groton Population: 38,411
  • Senior Center Members: 3,500

About Honoring Legacies

This photography display of portraits of local residents with a diagnosis of dementia brought awareness to the community about the real person who is affected by this disease and reduced the stigma associated with dementia. 

This project provided all who attended with a more comprehensive understanding of the lives led by those with dementia/Alzheimer’s disease, with a goal of leaving attendees uplifted and inspired. It demonstrated that the disease is but a small portion of the lives of the people who have it. The portraits show the person; you cannot see the disease. 

Over 100 people came to the opening event. 

Key takeaways from Honoring Legacies

  • A person's life is so much more than the diagnosis of dementia. They have skills, families, and friends. The portraits showed the person and their history.
  • People with mild to moderate dementia are still social, enjoy life, and can be an active part of the community.
  • For the person with dementia and their families, the focus in on their life well-lived and not a diagnosis of a terrible disease. 
  • For the community, the event brought resources together for people to learn about and share.
  • The program was used to announce a longer-term safety program with the police called Project Lifesaver (a radio bracelet program for people who wander, monitored by the police).

About Groton Senior Center

The Groton Senior Center runs the Thrive 55+ Active Living Center, the premiere location for nutrition, health and recreational classes, special events and trips, transportation, information and referral services for Groton residents 55 years and older. Programs in health, finance, fitness, art, nutrition, and more are offered year-round, and there are special events throughout the year, many open to residents and non-residents.