New York State awards $4.5 million grant to WNY dementia caregiver programs

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 that 55,000 WNY 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 healthcare 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,” said Chapter Executive Director Jill Horner. “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 the 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 alz.org/WNY.

The Allegany County Office for the Aging is located at 6085 NY-19 in Belmont and is reachable at (585) 268-9390. The staff provides expert information and assistance to older individuals and their caregivers to maintain dignity, respect and independence. It is estimated that more than 9,000 people 60 years of age and over in Allegany County.

The Cattaraugus County Office for the Aging is located at 1 Leo Moss Drive in Olean and can be reached at (716) 373-8032. The staff provides or assures the provision of needed services to county residents who are age 60 or older, and has coordinated with existing community services, planned, developed and, in some cases, administered needed programs, while also promoting new and better services for all individuals age 60 or older across the county.

The Chautauqua County Office for the Aging provides programs and services to seniors and their families to promote independence, optimal health and wellness in a safe and secure environment. The agency has three offices across the county:

• Dunkirk – Dunkirk Senior Center, 45 Cliffstar Court, (716) 363-3865

• Jamestown – 610 W. Third St., (716) 661-8940

• Mayville – Hall R. Clothier Building, 7 N. Erie St., (716) 753-4471

Erie County Department of Senior Services promotes the well-being of all older adults through coordinated and cost-effective services which enhance their independence, dignity, and quality of life. The office is located on the 13th floor at 95 Franklin St. in Buffalo and can be contacted at (716) 858-8526.

The Genesee County Office for the Aging, located at 2 Bank St. in Batavia, provides information, support and advocacy to residents 60 years of age and older, their caregivers and disabled persons of all ages. The aim is to promote their independence and improve their quality of life. The office can be reached at (585) 343-1611.

The Niagara County Office for the Aging is located at 111 Main St., Suite 101 in Lockport. The agency brings together the programs, services and supportive facilities which help the county’s 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.

The Wyoming County Office for the Aging, at 8 Perry Ave. in Warsaw, advocates on behalf of all older persons in the service area, identifies the needs of the elderly and creates plans for meeting those needs, and administers a wide variety of federal, state, local and private funds which support the services provided. The office can be reached at (585) 786-8833.

Additionally, each of the offices administer 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.

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