The Alzheimer's Association Western New York Chapter will oversee a three-year, $4.5 million grant from the New York State Department of Health to expand dementia caregiving initiatives across seven counties. The chapter will collaborate with Office for the Aging (OFA) partners in Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara and Wyoming counties on the Alzheimer's disease caregiver support initiative (CSI), which will provide funds for support services for dementia caregivers.
It is estimated 55,000 Western New York residents are living with Alzheimer's disease or other dementia, with approximately 165,000 people filling the role of caregiver, at least part-time. Those numbers are expected to escalate substantially over the next three decades, potentially crippling the health care 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. These services may potentially delay the need for placement in a long-term care facility and lower the steep costs associated with dementia care.
"We are proud to be recognized as dementia care experts in WNY and pleased to be able to provide expanded services for families facing the challenge of dementia," chapter Executive Director Jill Horner said. "Our outstanding partners in this effort are crucial to the association's mission and will allow for expanded services across areas that are in most need."
Caregivers will have greater access to no-cost support services across the region, including care consultations, support groups, respite services, safety strategies and educational programs.
About CSI Partners
The CSI regional partnership will provide caregivers with comprehensive, wrap-around support from local professionals from these agencies:
•The Alzheimer's Association is the nation's leading voluntary health organization for care, support and research of Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. The elimination of the disease through advancements in research, providing and enhancing care and support for all impacted, and reducing the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health define the organization's mission. The WNY Chapter is located at 2805 Wehrle Drive, Suite 6, in Williamsville, and offers a 24/7 helpline for services and support at 1-800-272-3900. The association also offers online resources, including secure sites for caregivers, training for professional care partners and information about local support services at www.alz.org/WNY
•The Niagara County Office for the Aging, located at 111 Main St., Suite 101, in Lockport, brings together the programs, services and supportive facilities which help 47,000 older adults maintain independence whenever possible. Established in 1973, the OFA coordinates community services as well as plans, develops and administers needed programs and promotes new and better services for all persons age 60 and over. The office can be reached at 716-438-4020.
•Additionally, the Western New York OFAs administer home and community-based programs to provide access to a well-planned, coordinated package of in-home and other supportive services. Additionally, each of the offices administers NY Connects, a trusted resource for free, unbiased information and assistance available to older adults, individuals with disabilities of any age, and their caregivers to help make informed decisions about long-term care options.