Partnership Provides Services for Seniors with Dementia

At the Golden Corner Respite Care program in Seneca, Clemson doctoral student Caitlin Torrence sat next to a woman with Alzheimer’s who rarely spoke. Torrence began humming Christmas music, and for the first time, she heard the woman’s voice as she sang the words to the song.
Torrence and Clemson’s Institute for Engaged Aging director Cheryl Dye are hoping for this same kind of success in a new dementia care program they started in September in Central.
Dye co-authored a $48,500 grant proposal with Pickens County Meals on Wheels that was funded by the S.C. Lieutenant Governor’s Office on Aging Improvement Grant to reopen the Central Community Center, where services had not been offered since 2014. Thanks to a $20,000 Alzheimer’s Resource Coordination Center grant, the program known as the Brain Health Club has the necessary start-up funding.
“Through this partnership with Pickens County Meals on Wheels, IEA and the Town of Central, there will now be a place where seniors in the area can go for meals, exercise classes and dementia care,” Dye said.
The new program in Central will address the needs of local residents living with dementia or Alzheimer’s. In Pickens County, there are approximately two thousand people living with Alzheimer’s or dementia, according to the South Carolina Alzheimer’s Disease Registry.  Dye said there is a need for more senior care as the aging population grows due to the aging baby boomer generation and the expected rise of dementia and Alzheimer’s diagnoses.
Tom Cloer, Central’s assistant town manager and long-time advocate for senior services, said he’s excited to see people using the building, which has been renovated with a new HVAC system and roof, as well as additional upgrades.
“We’re glad we’re able to be a part of this partnership and fill this gap in services,” Cloer said. “This is something the Town of Central couldn’t do on its own. This partnership is able to fill the need for senior services.”
This program consists of research-based activities to promote brain health and combat the symptoms of dementia, which can make seniors feel isolated, Torrence said. These activities include music therapy, arts and crafts, best-practice therapeutic cognitive exercises from the Alzheimer’s Association along with language recall and exercise.
“We want to give them a space where they can feel safe and still experience life and joy and do things that are meaningful, and cognitively stimulating,” Torrence said. “Just because you have a disease, doesn’t mean your life is over.”
The program also serves as a Creative Inquiry class for Clemson students. Since fall 2014, students have worked with IEA faculty and doctoral students to deliver dementia care program at the Greenville Health System Center for Success in Aging, two churches in Seneca and a local retirement community. Now the dementia program has a permanent home at the Central Community Center.
“This is one way IEA is addressing older adult needs while also advancing faculty and doctoral student research as well as the undergraduate educational experience,” Dye said.


The students research various ways to provide compassionate care and develop the activities for the program. At the center in Central, Torrence is training and supervising the students during the program two afternoons a week.
Dye knows this training to work with dementia and Alzheimer’s patients is important for students who wish to be health care professionals as the aging population grows and health care systems need dementia-capable health care providers.
This training is something that senior health sciences major Hailey Malphrus values in the class, and is something she did not expect to love.
“Getting to know the participants and help them was rewarding and honoring,” Malphrus said. “I love the prevention and intervention phases of medicine. It’s been my favorite thing I’ve done at Clemson. The research skills I’ve gained are giving me the chance to benefit someone now, not only after I graduate.”
Working at Golden Corner Respite Care, a program also started by Dye’s class, was Malphrus’ first experience applying what she learned in the classroom. One of her favorite parts of the class last year was playing the songs on the piano and hearing the participants sing along. This semester, Malphrus is looking forward to working with the participants in the new program and watching their progress.
“It’s easy to focus on what dementia and Alzheimer’s patients have lost, not what they still have,” Malphrus said. “This program is empowering for them.”
However, the Central program won’t benefit only those with dementia, but also the caregivers who get a break from their demanding role and are able to participate in caregiving education classes.
Pickens County Meals on Wheels director Meta Bowers said it’s important for caregivers to take a break because “the toll that it takes to care for someone is often the price of their health, and caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia is a full-time job.”
In addition to the IEA Brain Health Club, the building will also house after school programs for the Town of Central and serve as a satellite campus to the Meals on Wheels McKissick Senior Wellness Center located in Liberty. Bowers said this is a state-wide model for senior resources.
“On a global sense with the Institute for Engaged Aging, I think the partnership with Pickens County Meals on Wheels is a wonderful fit,” Bowers said. “It harnesses the resources of two institutions. Cheryl’s use of the students and their knowledge makes the program a living lab giving people a real-world experience and providing quality care.”

For more information about the Brain Health Club program, contact Caitlin Torrence at or 864-387-9187.

Championship Legacy: Sons Make Winning a Family Affair

Perry Tuttle isn’t the only 1981 champion lucky enough to have his son follow in his footsteps. There are four other players on the current roster with ties to the 1981 team: twin sophomore linebackers J.D. and Judah Davis, sons of 1981 team captain Jeff Davis; Jarvis Magwood, a redshirt sophomore linebacker and son of wide receiver Frank Magwood; and Cannon Smith, a redshirt sophomore tight end and son
of defensive end Bill Smith.

Will to Lead campaign surpasses its goal

Sept. 7, 2013 - #4 Clemson (2-0) breezed to a 52-13 victory over FCS-level S.C. State. Cole Stoudt took his turn at being Clemson's record-setting quarterback in its win over South Carolina State Saturday afternoon. For his part, Taj Boyd was 14-of-23 passing for 169 yards and ran the ball six times for 10 yards and a touchdown, but he did not throw a touchdown in the game, which ended his school-record streak of consecutive games with a touchdown pass at 17.

The largest campaign goal ever achieved by a public university with an alumni base the size of Clemson’s and the largest fundraising effort in our state’s history. It’s an amount that’s hard to even comprehend, and an accomplishment of which we can all be proud. We thought it might be helpful to break it down just a bit.

What DOES a billion dollars do for Clemson?


See what $1 billion will do. 

Q&A: Joey Manson

Where are the top 3 to 5 places where you’ve had or currently have work?
Manson: Chicago is a city that is very supportive of the arts and sculpture in particular. I’ve shown sculptures in six public art exhibitions hosted by Chicago in the last three years. I’ve also shown in Stamford CT, San Angelo TX, and Ames IA, in the past year. Commission work supports my studio practice and I’ve installed permanently sited works in Skokie IL and Chattanooga TN in the past two years. Tell me about the partnership with CU ICAR. What’s the history?
How did it come about?
Manson: I began a partnership with ICAR with the Art Department’s foundations course which I teach. We sited different cardboard sculptures the foundations students created throughout the interior of ICAR for several years running. We also received a BMW car chassis which we had the foundations class collectively design and paint the exterior of in the spirit of BMW’s well known Art Cars. This chassis was exhibit in front of Lee hall for some time.
Will art students be a part of the installation? If so, why is it important for them participate? What will they learn?
Manson: There’s at least one student I may ask if the’d like to be involved in the install. Participation in exhibition installations is an important learning experience for students who will be showing their own work as professional artists upon graduation.
Tell me about the math, physics, science or engineering elements that play into making/installing the sculpture.
Manson: “Early Hatch”began as simple sketches, however to work out specific details final drawing were produced in CAD. The engineering problems involved in building this sculpture are not terribly complex. It is the questions related to the industrial and environmental themes of the sculpture itself and how the viewer relates are more important.
Tell me about the sculpture. What inspired you to create it. Why is it significant to the CU ICAR location?
Manson: Automotive Technology has a tremendous impact on the environment, my studio efforts looks to both industrial and environmental interests, and I utilize industrial construction methods to create my work.
What have you done to promote visual arts and sculpture at Clemson?
Manson: Atelier InSite, a creative inquiry course focusing on the implementation of Public Art at Clemson University, is a course I co-teach with Dave Detrich and Denise Detrich. This course is about promoting visual arts within our community at Clemson.
Joey’s on-campus sculpture outside of Sirrine