Second Wind Dreams has experienced incredible growth in the past year in service to our elders and people with dementia. Our mission is more secure than ever as we continue to find new, innovative ways to meet the needs of eldercare. Our core values remain solid and our commitment to grass roots efforts to make dreams come true continues to thrive and our list of supporters continues to grow. Our Gifts of Light program specifically developed to make sure that elders in nursing homes get a gift they want and a visit from a volunteer during the holidays almost doubled in 2018.
We welcomed a new country into our organization and the people of InsiemeAte Onlus in Bergamo, Italy are incredibly excited about taking the VDT throughout their country. Australia is into their second year of service and Churches of Christ Care is now not only providing the VDT to their own homes but have ventured out into the general public so that their reach of service is helping others outside their company. Our partner in the UK, Glenn Knight, owner of Training2Care helped us launch one of our new programs called the Inclusive VDT. This expands our program options and allows participants to experience what person-centered care really looks like to a person with dementia. Canada, through the efforts of Kim Grier, continues to make inroads into all long-term care entities.
We launched new programs for the VDT. We are now able to conduct the VDT in family’s homes and council them about additional care for their loved ones in their own milieu. In addition, we implemented a Hospital version of the VDT. Hospitals are finding themselves with an influx of patients with dementia and have little training in the special care necessary for this population. Several years ago we developed the Dementia Aware Competency Evaluation, DACE. This assessment assists long term care entities in determining whether staff is competent to provide care to a person with dementia. More and more elder care communities are embracing this program. We also developed a way to implement the above programs digitally so that tracking results are easier.
Our grants department has also grown. We have been serving 171 nursing homes in GA. for two years and last summer we added North Carolina and in October we added Wisconsin. These grants allow us to provide the VDT and DACE to the nursing homes in those states. These two additional grants give us the opportunity to serve more than 500 additional nursing homes.
In 2018 we moved to larger offices in Roswell, Georgia. Allowing our staff to be together in one place for the first time in years. We began developing my succession plan with our board of directors. This has allowed me take on an emeritus role and even better than that, we hired an acting CEO who is doing an incredible job.
Plans for 2019 are already in the works. We will have an international convention and continue to make our new programs available throughout the US and with our international partners. It will be our final year with the GA grant and the outcomes from our work will be made public to help everyone better understand the dynamics of simulation training and its impact on resident care. More elders will realize their dreams, there will be a greater understanding of what dementia is like and we hope to have you, yes you, more involved in what we do.
So, bring on 2019. It promises to be another banner year for Second Wind Dreams and the beneficiaries are the most important people in the world, our elders.