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HERO Project
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The Health and Resilience Outreach (HERO) Project, is a project unique to the Alzheimer’s Association Greater Iowa Chapter and is locally funded by grants.   The overall goal of the HERO Project is to help caregivers of those with a form of dementia to stay healthy by providing support and resources to them on a consistent basis.  In addition, this project will reduce the cost of health care for individuals with dementia primarily though healthcare surveillance of this individual and enhanced access to home and community based services and by increasing the health of their own family caregiver. 

Volunteers are recruited and trained to provide services and supports to people in their homes via telephone contact.  Volunteers will also be trained to conduct health surveillance for the person with dementia  to ensure health care intervention is provided at the right level of care, avoiding hospitalizations.  

As a result of this project, the Alzheimer’s Association anticipates caregivers will maintain a higher level of resilience, resulting in a higher compliance of treatment regimens for their loved one with Alzheimer’s disease, reduced hospitalizations, and delayed admissions to long term care.  The individual with Alzheimer’s disease will experience longer periods of health and well-being and should their health condition change, receive a more timely  referral to an appropriate level of care.

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Volunteers for the HERO Project are critical to sustaining the HERO Project here in Iowa.  Currently we have more participants in need of help then we have volunteers.  If you have a passion for caring for those affected by Alzheimer’s and the time to give, we hope you will consider this project. 




Volunteer Qualifications:

  • Experience with dementia as a family member or health care professional preferred. 
  • Strong listening skills and effective communication skills.
  • Access to a home computer and ability to use Google Docs and email.
  • Commitment to promote the mission and services of the Alzheimer’s Association and willingness to act as an extension of the Association and put other responsibilities and obligations aside when acting in this role.
  • Ability to pass a background check.

Time Commitment:

  • Training Time

    • Volunteer orientation - 2 hours
    • Ongoing training - periodically
  • Calling up to 3 caregivers on a weekly or biweekly schedule, approximately, 5 hours per month.  A commitment of at least one year is expected.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Provide telephone support on a scheduled periodic basis: be a friend.
  • Complete caregiver documentation in real time using HERO project website.
  • Develop a support plan in collaboration with the caregiver to address the patient and caregiver needs.
  • Provide and document information and referrals for the services and supports of the Alzheimer’s Association and other community resources.
  • Assist in identifying a care team of family and friends.
  • Should the person with dementia develop signs and symptoms of declining health as identified by the health surveillance tool, the volunteer will refer the patient back to the health care provider for further evaluation and support. 

>Click here to view our HERO Project posting.

Are you a caregiver needing support or interested in being a HERO Project volunteer?  Contact Barbara McClannahan at or 515.512.9101 to learn more about the HERO Project.

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Alzheimer's Association

Our vision: A world without Alzheimer's disease®.
Formed in 1980, the Alzheimer's Association is the world's leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care, support and research.