NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - January 16, 2014) - As an increasing number of families bear the financial, physical and emotional toll of caring for loved ones with Alzheimer's disease or a related dementia, the Alzheimer's Foundation of America (AFA) has awarded more than $100,000 in grants to community organizations nationwide to give family caregivers a much-needed break.
AFA is providing grants of $5,000 each to 21 nonprofit community organizations in 13 states so that they, in turn, can give respite care scholarships to new or existing clients in financial need.
"These grants will afford family caregivers an opportunity to send a loved one with dementia to an adult day program or hire an in-home aide, for example," said Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr., AFA's chief executive officer. "This helps lighten their caregiving load and provides them time to recharge, attend a support group or participate in other activities that can help keep their own mental and physical health in-check."
About half of the grants are named in memory of family members of AFA's two founding board members: the Anna P. Brodsky Family Respite Care Grants, named for the late mother of AFA Board Chairman Bert E. Brodsky, and the Phyllis and Milton Berg Family Respite Care Grants, named for the deceased parents of Barry Berg, the board's treasurer.
"These respite care grants speak to the tremendous need both to provide support to grassroots organizations and to provide relief to families," said Brodsky. "Supportive services like this are increasingly important as the cost of care escalates, and can help improve quality of life for families affected by this heartbreaking disease."
According to a 2013 study by the RAND Corporation, dementia care costs now top those of heart disease and cancer , with the average annual cost of care (direct and informal, the type provided by family caregivers) for people aged 70 and older in the U.S. in 2010 was between $157-$210 billion.
AFA offers the respite care grants twice a year to its nonprofit member organizations nationwide through a bi-annual competitive process; applications are due June 1 and December 1 each year.
Representative of the organizations benefitting from this latest round of grants, the Alvin A. Dubin Alzheimer's Resource Center, in Fort Myers, Fla., will provide emergency respite care when a caregiver is hospitalized or otherwise facing a crisis; and Riverstone Senior Life Services, New York, N.Y., will offer scholarships to several clients to attend its adult day programs, which serve English and Spanish-speaking clients with memory loss in a new space with three large activity rooms.
Grant recipients are:
- Alvin A. Dubin Alzheimer's Resource Center, Inc., Fort Myers, Fla.
- Alzheimer's Family Day Center, Fairfax, Va.
- Alzheimer's Community Care, West Palm Beach, Fla.
- Alzheimer's Services Center, Morrow, Ga.
- The ARK of South Carolina, Summerville, S.C.
- Care Club of Collier County, Inc., Naples, Fla.
- Community Adult Respite Experience, Inc., Abermarle, N.C.
- Memory Matters, Hilton Head, S.C.
- Oaks ARMS Adult Day Services, Orangeburg, S.C.
- Riverstone Senior Life Services, New York, N.Y.
- AGE of Central Texas, Austin, Texas
- Alzheimer's and Dementia Services of Northern Indiana, Inc., South Bend, Ind.
- E.A. Roberts Alzheimer's Center at Mobile Infirmary, Mobile, Ala.
- Payson Multipurpose Senior Center, Payson, Ariz.
- Alzheimer's Family Services Center, Huntington Beach, Calif.
- Area 1 Agency on Aging, Eureka, Calif.
- Conejo Valley Senior Concerns, Thousand Oaks, Calif.
- Grace Center for Adult Day Services, Corvallis, Ore.
- Hawaii Island Adult Care, Inc., Hilo, Hawaii
- Thelma's Place, Canby, Ore.
- VNA Community Services, Inc., Monterey, Calif.
In addition to family respite care grants, AFA awards other grants to help its nonprofit member organizations nationwide develop or enhance programs or services in their communities. To learn more about these programs, visit www.alzfdn.org, or call 866-232-8484.
About Alzheimer's Foundation of America:
The Alzheimer's Foundation of America, based in New York, is a national non-profit organization that unites more than 1,600 member organizations nationwide with the goal of providing optimal care and services to individuals confronting dementia, and to their caregivers and families. Its services include a toll-free hot line, staffed by licensed social workers; educational materials; a free quarterly magazine for caregivers; and professional training, along with teen- and college student-specific divisions. For more information about AFA, call toll-free 866-232-8484, visit www.alzfdn.org, follow us on Twitter (@alzfdn), and "like" us on Facebook (facebook.com/AlzheimersFoundationofAmerica).