Alzheimer's Foundation of America Awards Family Respite Care Grants to Local Organizations

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Three organizations each receive $5,000 to provide scholarships to family caregivers to offset or cover the cost of attendance at adult day programs for loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia.

To help provide family caregivers a bit of relief – physically, mentally and financially – the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) has awarded its inaugural Phyllis and Milton Berg Family Respite Care Grants to three of its nonprofit member organizations: Alzheimer’s Disease Association of Kern County, Inc. (ADAKC) Adult Day Care Services, in Bakersfield, Calif.; OPICA Adult Day Care Center, Inc., in Los Angeles; and Senior Services for South Sound – STARS Adult Day Program, in Olympia, Wash.

Each organization will receive $5,000 to provide scholarships to family caregivers to offset or cover the cost of attendance at adult day programs for loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia. All three recipients will assist several new and existing clients who otherwise would be unable to attend the program.

The Phyllis and Milton Berg Family Respite Care Grants are named in honor of the deceased parents of Barry E. Berg, a long-time AFA board member. AFA’s nonprofit member organizations nationwide can apply for the grants through a bi-annual competitive process; applications are due June 1 and December 1 each year.

“These grants address both the emotional and financial toll of this disease,” Berg said. “It’s impossible for caregivers to take this on all by themselves. These scholarships will enable them to afford a much-needed opportunity to recharge while their loved ones are taken care of.”

Respite services, which include adult day programs, in-home aides or companions, or overnight stays at long-term facilities, address a vital need in the caregiving community. According to a 2012 survey conducted for AFA by Harris Interactive, 76 percent of family caregivers of persons with dementia report physical or emotional exhaustion from their caregiving duties. And a recent study in Gerontologist supports the benefits of respite care, finding that family caregivers were less stressed and had fewer bouts of anger on the days when their loved ones attended an adult day program versus other days.

In addition, the rising cost of Alzheimer’s disease care is gaining attention. A recent RAND Corporation study found that the cost of caring for people aged 70 or older with dementia in the United States totaled $159 billion to $215 billion in 2010, including $50 billion to $106 billion for informal care typically provided by family members at home.    

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

Among the grant recipients, OPICA was established in 1979, as the first adult day center in the city of Los Angeles, and provides stimulating and therapeutic cognitive and sensory programs for people in the early to later stages of memory loss and related neurological impairment. Activities at the center, which is open six days a week, include current events discussions, gardening, brain fitness, music, yoga, laughter classes, and intergenerational programs.

In addition to family respite care grants, AFA awards other grants to help its nonprofit member organizations nationwide develop or enhance programs or services in their communities. To learn more about these programs, visit, or call 866-232-8484.

About the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA):
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, visit, follow us on Twitter at, or connect with us on Facebook

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Amanda Hirschhorn
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