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State awards $8.25M grant for dementia caregiver programs

The Alzheimer’s Association Western New York Chapter will oversee a five-year, $8,250,000 grant from the state Department of Health to expand dementia caregiving initiatives across eight counties.

The chapter will collaborate with Office for the Aging partners in Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans and Wyoming counties and the Center for Elder Law and Justice on the Alzheimer’s disease Caregiver Support Initiative, which will provide funds for support services for dementia caregivers.

“We are grateful to once again be a recipient of this competitive grant so we can continue to provide care and support services across the Western New York region,” said Jill Horner, Alzheimer’s Association Western New York Chapter executive director. “Our outstanding partners in this effort are crucial to the Association’s mission and we are delighted that we’ve been able to expand our partnership to include aging services offices in all eight WNY counties, as well as CELJ.”

Across New York state, it is estimated that more than 400,000 residents are living with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia, with 560,000 people filling the role of caregiver, at least part-time.

Those numbers are expected to escalate substantially over the next 25 years, potentially crippling the healthcare system.

At this time, Alzheimer’s disease cannot be prevented, slowed or cured, and current treatments for symptoms do not delay the inevitable progression of the disease and its relentless, often overwhelming challenges.

Research has proven that providing care partners with an array of support services can ease the challenges of providing care and enhance the quality of life for individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers.

The goal of the CSI is to enable individuals living with dementia to remain in non-institutional settings in their community as long as safely possible through the implementation of caregiver support programs designed to improve quality-of-life and decrease caregiver burden.

“Together, the chapter and our partners will expand awareness and delivery of valuable support services and resources,” said Amanda Nobrega, chapter senior director of programs. “This grand-funded partnership will also allow us to serve even more families facing dementia — with a focus on engaging our most vulnerable friends and neighbors whose access to quality care may be limited by barriers beyond their control.”

Caregivers will have greater access to no-cost support services across the region, including care consultations, support groups, respite services, safety strategies, legal services and educational programs.

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