Alzheimer’s Foundation of America to Offer More Family Respite Care Grants

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Program responds to rising national cost of dementia care

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As an unprecedented number of Americans face Alzheimer’s disease in their families, the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) today announced the availability of the Phyllis and Milton Berg Family Respite Care Grants to nonprofit organizations for scholarships to cover the cost of respite care for family caregivers of loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease or a related illness.

The announcement comes on the heels of a new government-supported study that highlights the rising cost of caring for the nation’s dementia population, including informal, unpaid care, and direct costs for nursing homes, Medicare and out-of-pocket expenses that surpass that for people with heart disease and cancer.

The new AFA grants are named to honor the deceased parents of Barry E. Berg, of Commack, NY, who has served on AFA’s board of trustees for nearly a decade and has chaired several of AFA’s “Care on the Fairways” golf outings to support the organization’s programs and services. Both of Berg’s parents passed away in 2009: his mother, Phyllis, had Alzheimer’s disease, and his father, Milton, original owner of Bagel Hut and co-owner of the 19th hole of the Wynmoor Country Club in Coconut Creek, FL, devotedly cared for his wife during her nine-year illness.

“My siblings, Sheldon Berg and Bonnie Grossman, and I are extremely touched by this tribute and grateful that the grants will help caregivers in financial need who have selflessly dedicated themselves to taking care of their loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease,” said Berg, a CPA and co-managing partner of Nussbaum Yates Berg Klein & Wolpow, LLP, Melville, NY.

“Anyone who has walked in a caregiver’s shoes knows the devastation of Alzheimer’s disease on families,” Berg added. “It is unbearable and unacceptable to face this disease alone. These grants will provide financial relief as well as send a loud message to caregivers that it is ‘okay’ to take some time for themselves.”

AFA will award multiple grants of $5,000 each to its nonprofit member organizations nationwide via a bi-annual competitive application process. The grantees will use the funds to provide scholarships for respite care for family caregivers based on financial or other needs. These services include adult day programs, in-home aides or companions, or overnight stays at long-term facilities for individuals with dementia.

Applications are due June 1 and December 1 of each year. For more information, visit or call 866-232-8484.

“We appreciate Barry Berg’s long-time commitment to AFA and are honored to provide this beautiful legacy to his parents—one that recognizes the critical role of family caregivers,” said Bert E. Brodsky, AFA’s chairman. “By helping to lift some of the financial burden, these grants will also help relieve some of the emotional and physical impact of Alzheimer’s disease on our nation’s caregivers.”

The Phyllis and Milton Berg Family Respite Care Grants are becoming available at a pivotal point. According to the government-supported study released yesterday and led by a researcher at the RAND Corporation, in 2010, the cost of caring for people aged 70 or older with dementia in the United States totaled $159 billion to $215 billion, including $50 billion to $106 billion for informal care typically provided by family members at home. It estimated a tab of $41,000 to $56,000 per case, and projected that total national costs will more than double by 2040 to reflect the aging population.

The number of Americans with Alzheimer’s disease is expected to triple to 13.8 million by 2050, fueled in part by 10,000 baby boomers turning 65 each day. Advanced age is the greatest known risk factor.

An estimated 80 percent of people with dementia live at home, with family members serving as their 24/7 caregivers at the expense of their own physical and mental well-being. Studies show education and support services can delay nursing home placement of loved ones with dementia.

Evident of the financial burden on families, the average hourly rate for private-pay home health aides and companions is $21 and $20, respectively; and the average adult day program costs $70 daily, according to the 2012 results of the MetLife Mature Market Institute’s Market Survey of Long-Term Care Costs.

In addition to family respite care grants, AFA awards several grants to its nonprofit member organizations nationwide to develop or enhance programs or services in their communities; and holds annual college scholarship and video competitions for teens. To find out more about AFA’s awards, visit or call 866-232-8484.

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, educational materials, a free quarterly magazine for caregivers and professional training. For more information about AFA, call toll-free 866-232-8484 or visit

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Amanda Hirschhorn
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