Alzheimer's Foundation of America
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | September 13, 2005

Alzheimer's Foundation Awards Grant for Innovative Care to Eden Alternative

NEW YORK, NY—Determined to change the face of care in America, the Alzheimer's Foundation of America (AFA) today announced that it has awarded an inaugural grant for innovative care to a unique program that “nurtures each person's capacity for growth” even in light of Alzheimer's disease.

The recipient of the $20,000 grant is The Eden Alternative, a nonprofit organization based in Sherburne, NY that has revitalized the social and physical environments of hundreds of long-term care facilities worldwide. With the grant, Eden will roll out a new program under its newest initiative, Eden at Home, that extends its core philosophy to individuals with dementia who are living at home and their care partners, such as family, friends and volunteers.

AFA made the announcement at its groundbreaking conference underway at the New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge in Brooklyn, NY for executives of community organizations involved in dementia care in New York State.

The two-day conference, called “Caring for the Community,” addresses two major challenges for grassroots organizations: how to enhance their services based on the latest understanding of Alzheimer's disease and appropriate treatment options; and how to boost their capacity to meet the needs of the community, including multi-ethnic groups.

Eden officials, who made a presentation at the conference about Eden at Home, told the 150 attendees that they are looking for visionary partners for this pioneering program among these New York organizations as well as other community groups throughout the nation.

AFA introduced the grant, known as “The Brodsky Grant,” this year in honor of AFA's chairman, Bert Brodsky. It will be awarded annually to a program that demonstrates innovativeness, greatest need and replication potential.

“We applaud The Eden Alternative for its forward-thinking. Its program has the potential to dramatically change society's perceptions about those with Alzheimer's disease,” Brodsky said.

Eden's program, called “Eden at Home's Core Concepts Training,” will provide specific tools to improve quality of life in the home and community-care environment for individuals with dementia and their care partners. An estimated seven out of ten people with Alzheimer's disease are living at home and receive 75 percent of their care from informal caregivers.

The training is based on the philosophy that people, who Eden refers to as “Elders,” have a gift to share with their loved ones and communities regardless of their physical or cognitive challenges.

“The initiative operates under the assumption that even a home can feel like an institution if [for example] care partners are not empowered…and there is an emphasis on task-doing and treatment, rather than on giving meaningful care,” the organization wrote in its grant request.

Eden defines meaningful care as that “which nurtures the human spirit as well as the human body and recognizes, celebrates and nurtures each person's unique capacity for continued growth and development.”

"This mission fits hand and glove with that of AFA," said William Thomas, M.D., founder of The Eden Alternative. "We are thrilled by the opportunity to carry the Eden At Home project forward with such a committed and far-seeing partner."

Eric J. Hall, AFA's chief executive officer, noted that AFA initiated the Brodsky Grant to recognize AFA's chairman and his wife, Muriel, for their generosity and outstanding commitment to helping others.

“This year's recipient exemplifies that same commitment to optimal care,” Hall said.

Brodsky, president and chief executive officer of Sandata, Inc., Port Washington, NY, has been AFA's chairman and the driving force behind the organization's monumental growth since it was founded in February 2002.

In addition to this special grant for innovative care, AFA awards multiple grants twice a year based on a competitive review process. Only nonprofit organizations that are AFA members may apply.

AFA, a New York-based nonprofit organization, focuses on “together for care…in addition to cure” for individuals with Alzheimer's disease and related illnesses, and their families. It unites hundreds of member organizations across the U.S. and Canada that provide education and hands-on social services.

AFA's “Caring for the Community” conference is a new initiative to directly address the concerns of community leaders in specific states; AFA held its first such conference last May for executives of community agencies in Florida. For information, visit www.alzfdn.org or call 866-AFA-8484.

Contact: Carol Steinberg
Phone: 866-AFA-8484