2019 FSA Annual Meeting

Kevin Jameson

President and Founder, Dementia Society of America

 

When Mr. Jameson's wife of 32 years, Ginny, developed Dementia, he provided years of initial caregiving and planning, trying to figure out the best ways for her to continue living a full life. Progression in her disease initially meant bringing in in-home care for few hours a week, which over time led to live-in care supplemented by him, eventually finding that her safety and comfort required even greater levels of support.

After the heart-wrenching decision to move her to a full-time community, Mr. Jameson continued to care for her almost daily. She initially lived in a secure Dementia unit just a few miles from their home, moved to the general skilled nursing care after a few years, and finally to an inpatient hospice. All this prepared him to better understand the entire journey of care many people living with Dementia and their circle of caregivers experience. When it came time, Mr. Jameson decided to leave his career to devote his days to the care of his wife until her passing.

Today, he has undertaken a new aspect to his life by launching the first, nationwide, all-volunteer nonprofit, the Dementia Society of America (DSA). Dedicated to increasing awareness in America to the broad spectrum of conditions that fall under the umbrella of Dementia, while helping those seeking local Dementia support services. Most everything they do is done for free, mainly through the largess and generosity of individual donors and corporate contributions. A second big focus of their efforts is around creating more opportunities for people with Dementia, living in secure Dementia units and elsewhere, to enjoy a wider variety and a greater number of music & arts activities to stimulate their brains and enrich their lives. And the third aspect to DSA’s mission is to recognize caregivers and innovators that benefit the Dementia community.

Dementia is a global epidemic affecting an estimated nine million people in the U.S. and five times as many around the globe. The Dementia Society of America gives back to those living with Dementia, their caregivers and care partners, by enriching the quality of their lives. They shine a light on the fears, and the unknowns – helping people take steps to get ahead of the curve, and as Mr. Jameson says, “Create the best possible tomorrows by taking the most meaningful actions today.”