Alzheimer’s Foundation of America Awards Grants to Local Groups Nationwide

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AFA grants totaling $30,000 to support caregiver education, adult day programs or other hands-on services for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and their families

The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) recently awarded grants totaling $30,000 to six grassroots organizations across the country to support caregiver education, adult day programs or other hands-on services for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and their families.

     AFA, a national nonprofit organization based in New York, awards these grants twice a year to its nonprofit member organizations based on a competitive application process. In this cycle, each organization has received $5,000.

“The grants program is at the core of our mission to improve the lives of increasing number of people with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia, and their families,” said Eric J. Hall, AFA’s president and CEO. “Local organizations look to this funding stream to meet the specific needs in their communities, providing services that ease the impact of this devastating disease.”

    Nationwide, as many as 5.1 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease, a progressive brain disorder that results in loss of memory and other intellectual functions. The incidence is rising at an alarming rate, in line with the aging population who are most at risk for the brain disorder.

    Among the latest grant recipients, the Alzheimer’s & Dementia Resource Center in Orlando, FL, will use the funds to start a new skills training program for family caregivers, “ABCs of Caregiving.” Nancy Squillacioti, the center’s executive director, said the funding will meet caregivers’ concerns about a lack of training in basic care.

    “With this funding, caregivers will be taught the skills they need to be more effective and responsive in addressing the needs of their loved ones,” she said. “When caregivers are more confident of their abilities, they are generally happier, as well.”

    Also providing caregiver training, Mental Health Association of Middle Tennessee, Nashville, will use the grant to expand a practical-oriented education program, which involves an in-home visit and follow-up telephone support. It addresses the specific needs of caregivers of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease living in rural and isolated areas where a lack of resources and support increase isolation and stress.

    Addressing other needs, St. Mary’s Nursing Center, Leonardtown, MD, will expand its Resident Choice Meal Plan Program by installing kitchens in each nursing unit so staff can prepare meals in the presence of the residents, allowing them the opportunity to watch, smell and participate in meal preparation.

The remaining awards will help support adult day programs for underserved populations: Lutheran Social Services of the South, Austin, TX, which operates the Buena Vida Adult Day Center in El Paso, TX, for indigent elderly and disabled adults; SAGE Eldercare, Summit, NJ, for its Spend-A-Day Adult Day Center, which serves disabled or cognitively impaired seniors; and the Brain Disorder Support Foundation, DeFuniak Springs, FL, to expand its “Project Together” program at Friendship House to service families in Walton County.

    Hilda Coursey, administrator for The Friendship House, said the program “fills the void for many families in the county who have limited access and resources to specialized services for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. We hope that the program will help improve the quality of life for those living with the disease as well as their family caregivers.”

    Applications for AFA’s next round of bi-annual grants must be post-marked by August 1, 2012. In addition to these grants, AFA awards The Brodsky Grant, an annual grant given to one innovative program or service; family respite care grants; and an annual college scholarship through its AFA Teens division.

    For more information about funding opportunities and membership, call 866-232-8484 or visit
The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, based in New York, is a national nonprofit organization that unites more than 1,600 independent member organizations nationwide with the goal of providing optimal care and services to individuals with dementia, their caregivers and families. Its services include counseling and referrals by licensed social workers via a toll-free hot line, e-mail, Skype and live chat; educational materials; a free quarterly magazine for caregivers; and professional training. For more information, call toll-free 866-232-8484 or visit

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Carol Steinberg
Alzheimer's Foundation of America
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