The Meaning & Hope Institute is a program of Duet: Partners In Health & Aging, a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit organization based in Phoenix, Arizona. The Institute provides services and support for America’s approximately 15 million family and friends who are caring for someone who has dementia. In addition, we are training and certifying Finding Meaning and Hope discussion facilitators by providing them with the information and resources they need to bring this program to family caregivers in their communities.
1 in 9
people age 65 and older have Alzheimer’s dementia
Alzheimer or dementia caregivers provided care in 2020
Nationwide, the unmet need of family caregivers served by the Meaning & Hope Institute is extensive and rapidly growing. The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that 5.8 million Americans, ages 65 and older, were living with Alzheimer’s dementia during 2021. More than 1 in 9 people (11.3%) age 65 and older have Alzheimer’s dementia, and 1 in 3 seniors dies with Alzheimer’s or another dementia.
During 2020, more than 15 million caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s or other dementias provided an estimated 18.5 billion hours of unpaid care, a contribution to the nation valued at $257 billion. By 2050, the cost of dementia care is projected to reach $1.1 trillion (Alzheimer’s Association 2021).
Nonprofit Duet: Partners in Health & Aging began responding to this unmet need during 2017, launching a volunteer-led Finding Meaning and Hope discussion series. The series is based on the work of Pauline Boss, Ph.D., and her groundbreaking book Loving Someone Who Has Dementia: How to Find Hope While Coping with Stress and Grief.
Prior to 2021, Duet’s Finding Meaning and Hope work centered on training and certifying local volunteer facilitators to conduct a discussion series that teaches caregivers self-care strategies to shore up their well-being and make peace with complex grief as their loved one descends into dementia. To date, more than 200 facilitators have been trained, and more than 500 family caregivers completed the Finding Meaning and Hope program.
Thanks to a federal grant from the National Community Care Corps, the Institute is currently conducting a national pilot to train facilitators and offer discussion series in Seattle, Washington; Sheridan, Wyoming; and New Orleans, Louisiana, with an additional pilot for Spanish-speaking caregivers in Arizona.
family caregivers completed the finding meaning and hope program to date
facilitators have been trained to provide care as of today
Bob Roth’s nonprofit work has touched more than 100 million individuals on behalf of the American Humane Association, Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, and others.
In the commercial sector he has serviced as President and Chief Operating Officer at Grand Canyon Railway, Vice President Marketing for Del Webb Recreational Properties, Vice President Marketing for Radisson Hotels, and Director of National Advertising for the Holiday Inns System.
Bob holds a B.S. in Public Communications from Boston University and an MBA and Ph.D. in business administration from California Coast University.
Ann Wheat has served as the director of family caregiver services since 2014 and is now Duet’s Executive Director.
She holds a bachelor’s degree and has completed graduate studies in recreational management from the University of Arizona.
Ann was a member of the Duet Board of Directors from 1999-2005 and co-chaired Duet’s major fundraising events.
Before her service at Duet, Ann was an acting deputy director for the City of Phoenix.
Wendy Cohen, MPH joined the Duet team in 2020 as senior director of services. She brings more than 30 years of experience in strategic planning, revenue and fiscal management, and organizational and programmatic assessment.
Wendy holds a bachelor’s degree in health and society and an MPH from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. Prior to joining Duet, she served as the Interim Executive Director for Phoenix Girls Chorus and President of Wendy Cohen Consulting.
Nichole Barnes has served as the director of communications of Duet since 2014.
She holds a bachelor’s of business administration with a major in marketing from Iowa State University.
Prior to her service at Duet, Nichole worked in development and marketing roles at World Vision and UMOM New Day Centers since 1994.
Jennifer Kabrud joined the Duet team as the Director of Development in May 2022. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies with a Minor in Public Relations and Strategic Communications and a Master’s degree in Nonprofit Studies, both from Arizona State University. Prior to joining Duet, Jennifer held development positions with numerous health and human service organizations throughout the Valley.
Julie Blake has served as the director of operations of Duet since 2013.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in mathematics from the University of Arizona. Julie started as a volunteer with Duet in 2001, helping to edit the Duet website.
She was hired by Duet as an administrative assistant for Congregational Health and later as financial secretary
Janet Richards has served as the caregiver services coordinator since 2018 and is now Duet’s director of family caregiver services. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and master’s in interdisciplinary studies from George Mason University.
Prior to her service at Duet, Janet worked as an instructional designer through her company, JSR Design. She first became associated with Duet in 2017, when she started attending support groups for family caregivers.
Justin McBride is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps. With a passion for nonprofit programs and social impact, and a master’s degree in nonprofit management, He has served in a variety of roles, including as Branch Director with the Boys & Girls Clubs, Program Manager for the Arizona Affiliate of the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, Director of Programming for Arizona SADD, consulting for agencies such as the Office of National Drug Control Policy, and as the co-founder of Social Profit Initiative, a nonprofit organization focused on supporting other nonprofits and social entrepreneurs in building solutions to challenges facing people and the planet.
To extend the impact of the Meaning and Hope program nationwide, we are seeking to partner with nonprofit and government organizations, and individuals who wish to train and certify as Finding Meaning and Hope discussion series facilitators.
We are also seeking to partner with commercial organizations that are interested in supporting the work of the Meaning & Hope Institute in order to increase the brand equity return on their philanthropic investments.
Join the growing number of organizations and agencies across the country who are helping to bring Finding Meaning and Hope and other much needed resources to caregivers in their communities. Contact Bob Roth, Managing Director of the Meaning & Hope Institute at email@example.com for more information about becoming a Meaning & Hope Partner.