Happy patient and caregiver

PANDA Project

The PANDA Project is an innovative program funded by the Administration for Community Living (ACL). PANDA provides direct services to People with Dementia (PWD), people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) at-risk of dementia, and to caregivers in Shelby County.

The initiatives developed through this innovative grant is available in Shelby County, sustained beyond the grant period, and made replicable statewide.

New Initiatives include:

  • The statewide expansion of our Dementia Friendly First Responder Training Program
  • Two new local Caregiver Respite programs available in Shelby County
  • Healthy Brain Education Workshops
  • The implementation of a City of Pelham Community Paramedic Program
  • Dementia Education & Marketing Campaign

The three-year grant began October 1, 2019, and M4A involves several partners as part of a Coordinated Care Team (CCT). CCT partners include: the University of Alabama Birmingham (UAB), Auburn University Harrison School of Pharmacy, the University of Alabama Tuscaloosa (UAT), the Pelham Fire Department, People First of Alabama, Alzheimer’s of Central Alabama, Brookwood Baptist Health, the Alzheimer’s Association, Collatt Jewish Family Services, HCBS Strategies, Inc., TCARE, Care Predict, Inc., Positive Maturity, the Shelby County Commission, and Jan Neal Law Firm, LLC.

To learn how PANDA might be able to help, contact our team today:

Physical Address: 209 Cloverdale Circle Alabaster, AL 35007
Mailing Address: P.O. Drawer 618 Saginaw, AL 35137
Email: panda@m4a.org
Telephone: (205) 670-5770

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The Senior Companion program focuses on providing assistance and friendship to older adults who have difficulty with daily living tasks, such as shopping or paying bills. Through this program, AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers keep seniors independent longer and provide respite to family caregivers. AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers themselves report better health and longevity having served their community.

Senior Companion Volunteers will receive compensation serving others under the PANDA (Providing Alzheimer’s N’ Dementia Assistance) in Shelby County, Alabama.

When you volunteer, you’re not just helping others-you’re helping yourself. Volunteering leads to new discoveries and new friends. Studies show that volunteering help you live longer and promote a positive outlook on life.

Becoming a Senior Companion also provides tangible benefits:

  • Tax-free hourly stipend of $3.00 per hour, paid every two weeks
  • Travel reimbursement to cover the costs of travel
  • Meal allowance
  • Secondary insurance coverage
  • Ongoing professional supervision
  • Personal Leave
  • Holiday Leave
  • Bereavement Leave
  • Free monthly educational training on topics relating to older adults

You must be at least 55 years old and reside in Shelby County, Alabama to apply.


LaQuita Smith, Director
Senior Companion Program
Positive Maturity
106 Oxmoor Rd, Suite 152
Birmingham, AL 35209
Office Phone: 205-803-3211

The Last Wednesday of each month 1pm – 2pm

Are you a family or professional caregiver in need of a short respite or break from your caregiver responsibilities? Are you interested in learning tips and techniques to provide better care or maybe you just want to network with other caregivers and learn about fun and entertaining topics? If so, the M4A Virtual Coffee Breaks hosted by our PANDA (Providing Alzheimer’s N’ Dementia Assistance) Project are for you!

The coffee breaks are held every other Wednesday from 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm each month, and you can join other like-minded caregivers either on the zoom call, live on face book, or view at a later date on you tube.

To check out a sample coffee break event

Click Here

We hope to see you there and remember: give yourself a “break” and join in on one of our future events!

Tailored Caregiver Assessment and Referral (TCARE) is a care management protocol designed to support family members who are providing care to adults, of any age, with chronic or acute health conditions. TCARE is grounded in the Caregiver Identity Theory, which conceptualizes caregiving as a series of transitions that result from changes in the caregiving context and in personal norms that are grounded in familial roles and culture. A major tenet of the theory is that identity discrepancy, defined as a disparity between a caregiver’s behavior and his or her identity standards, or personal norms, is a major source of caregiver stress. Identity discrepancy can be manifested in three domains of burden (objective burden, relationship burden, and stress burden) and in depression.

The TCARE software is used by our PANDA Project Team to help navigate caregivers through their caregiving journey while helping to intervene before a family caregiver burns out. If you are caregiver who is interested in seeing how the PANDA Project and TCARE can help you with your caregiving journey, please follow the link below!
Get Started with TCARE

Donations help to support the community services provided by the PANDA Project and other programs at M4A. These services include, but are not limited to wheelchair ramps, lawn maintenance, fidget quilts, homebound meals, various critical needs, and many other supportive programs for community members. If you are interested in donating, please use the link below!


This project was supported, in part by grant number 90ADPI0042-01-00, from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects under government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official Administration for Community Living policy.