FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | February 22, 2006
Alzheimer's Foundation of America and Sunrise Senior Living Collaborate to
Meet Increased Needs of People with Alzheimer's Disease in Local Communities
NEW YORK, NY—The Alzheimer's Foundation of America (AFA) and Sunrise Senior Living, the nation's largest provider of senior living services, have formed a collaborative relationship to provide enhanced care to the growing number of families affected by Alzheimer's disease and related illnesses in Connecticut, New Jersey and New York.
The joint effort is aimed at furthering the availability of education and care in local communities in order to improve quality of life for individuals with the disease and their caregivers.
Major components of the program include the establishment of education and referral centers within Sunrise Senior Living communities and the availability of short-term respite stays at special prices. In addition, AFA will continue to qualify Sunrise employees as Qualified Dementia Care Providers after they complete an AFA training program specifically designed for dementia care professionals.
These features are now being offered to the general public at each of the 51 Sunrise communities in the tri-state area. To locate a Sunrise community, visit www.sunriseseniorliving.com .
The new program is an outgrowth of both organizations' commitment to optimal care, and responds to the increased needs within communities for information and specialty care as the incidence of Alzheimer's disease continues to climb nationwide. Currently, an estimated five million Americans have the brain disorder, and the number is expected to triple by mid-century.
“This collaboration extends AFA's reach at the local level. It will greatly benefit families in need, providing them with significant and convenient access to information and innovation. It's all about being in the forefront of care,” said Eric J. Hall, chief executive officer of AFA, a national nonprofit organization focused on care for those affected by dementia.
Stephanie Handelson, Sunrise's vice president of operations for the northeastern region, said: “We are thrilled to have this opportunity to partner with AFA. Our mutual commitment to improve the lives of those living with Alzheimer's disease and their families makes this a natural fit. We look forward to working together to educate and provide care for even more members of the tri-state area.”
The heart of the program: resource and referral centers known as AFA C.A.R.E.S., an acronym for Care and Resource Education Services. Each Sunrise community will be an AFA C.A.R.E.S. center and will offer the public information and educational materials about dementia and caregiving that AFA has developed, as well as local, state and national resources. Callers to AFA's toll-free hotline, 866-AFA-8484, will be referred to AFA C.A.R.E.S. centers for local assistance.
The collaboration also involves a short-term stay program for individuals with dementia whose family members need to temporarily suspend their normal caregiving routines for professional or personal reasons. It also can serve as a useful transition between the hospital and home for those recovering from illness or surgery.
Available year-round, the respite program enables guests to live in Sunrise's Reminiscence Neighborhood, an area specially designed for seniors with mild to more advanced Alzheimer's disease or other memory disorders. The Reminiscence Neighborhood has trained staff to help manage the unique needs of residents with memory impairments and provides enriching recreational activities.
Under the program, week-long stays will be discounted 25 percent and will include three meals a day. Participation is subject to space availability and the guest's ability to meet the community's admissions criteria.
“Overnight respite is a welcome solution for caregivers. Caregivers are often reluctant to ‘let go,' but they would be more apt to occasionally take some take for themselves if they knew their loved ones were in a safe and caring environment,” Hall said.
In addition, AFA has provided, and will continue to provide, dementia care training to key healthcare professionals in Sunrise Reminiscence Neighborhoods through AFA's professional division, Dementia Care Professionals of America. Having completed the training program and having met the standards set by AFA, these professionals have been sanctioned by AFA as Qualified Dementia Care Providers.
“Training is a key component to understanding the unique needs of residents living with memory impairments and their families,” said Handelson. “At Sunrise, we recognize the importance of this training and turn to AFA to deliver the best dementia care training possible to our team members.”
The Alzheimer's Foundation of America, headquartered in New York City, is a national nonprofit organization that focuses on care for individuals with Alzheimer's disease and related illnesses, and their families. AFA is made up of hundreds of member organizations in North America that provide hands-on services and programs to meet the educational, emotional, practical and social needs of families. AFA's services include a toll-free hotline, counseling by licensed social workers, educational materials, and a free caregiver magazine. For more information, call toll-free 866-AFA-8484 or visit www.alzfdn.org .
Sunrise Senior Living (NYSE:SRZ) is the nation's largest provider of senior living services. The McLean, Va.-based company, which employs more than 40,000 people, operates 425 senior living communities in the United States, Canada, Germany and United Kingdom with a combined capacity of more than 52,900 residents. Sunrise offers a full range of personalized senior living services, including independent living, assisted living, care for individuals with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of memory loss, and nursing and rehabilitative care. Sunrise's senior living services are delivered by staff trained to encourage the independence, preserve the dignity, enable freedom of choice and protect the privacy of residents. For more information, visit www.sunriseseniorliving.com .
Contact: Carol Steinberg