The Alzheimer’s Association, Central New York Chapter has received a grant from the New York State Department of Health that will provide up to $7 million over five years for innovative outreach services to caregivers, families, and individuals impacted by Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
“Gov. Cuomo’s historic investment in Alzheimer’s caregivers has already paid dividends statewide,” said Catherine James, chief executive officer. “This program provides us with an unprecedented level of support to help us reach the thousands of people in Central New York living with dementia in need of services.”
The grant will fund AlzREACH, or Alzheimer’s Respite, Engagement, Awareness, Consultation, and Hope, a program that will expand and enhance current programs and services provided by the Chapter. Its primary intent is to reach a greater number of caregivers impacted by the disease by increasing access to supportive services. “We believe AlzREACH will improve the wellbeing of caregivers and individuals touched by dementia by expanding and enhancing support services and increasing our community collaborations so that we can reach more people affected by Alzheimer’s disease or other form of dementia,” James said.
The Chapter enhanced existing partnerships with local providers to achieve the goals of the grant, including the Alzheimer’s Center of Excellence at Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, Binghamton University’s Decker School of Nursing, Samaritan Keep Nursing Home in Watertown, Syracuse Jewish Family Service, the Syracuse University Genesis Health Project Network, United Helpers in St. Lawrence County, and each local area agency on aging in the program’s 15-county region. The Chapter will work with this network to expand one-on-one care consultation services, implementing family consultations, expanding education and training programs, enhancing and expanding support groups, increasing respite funding within each county and enhancing access to safety services.
AlzREACH is funded by the Alzheimer’s Disease Caregiver’s Support Initiative, which will provide up to $1.5 million annually until 2020 to select programs chosen through a competitive grant process. The Initiative was part of a $50 million commitment to Alzheimer’s care made in the 2015-16 New York State Budget. Alzheimer’s Association chapters in New York State worked closely with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office, as well as the New York State Senate and Assembly to expand funding for Alzheimer’s diagnostic, care and support services statewide. The appropriation was the largest one-year expenditure on Alzheimer’s disease support services by any state government ever.
“It’s important to recognize that this grant is part of a historic investment made by Governor Cuomo and the state legislature,” James said. “Their leadership in supporting individuals impacted by Alzheimer’s was a game-changer and we are seeing evidence nationally of other states trying to catch up.”
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, a general term associated with a decline in memory or other thinking skills severe enough to reduce a person’s ability to perform everyday activities. Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive, fatal disease. It is the sixth-leading cause of death in America and the only one among the top ten causes of death with no effective treatment, prevention or cure. Alzheimer’s disease affects more than 5 million Americans, including 380,000 in New York State. In addition, nearly 1.1 million New Yorkers provide unpaid care to a person with Alzheimer’s disease.