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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | July 20, 2009

Alzheimer’s Foundation of America Awards Grants to Local Groups Nationwide

NEW YORK, NY – The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) recently awarded grants of $5,000 each to three grassroots organizations that will enable them to help individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and their families meet daily challenges associated with the brain disorder.

The $5,000 grants will underwrite a memory loss program designed for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease who are also deaf and/or visually impaired; a new support program in which medical students will direct family caregivers to educational resources; and a wander alert system that will help ensure the safety of participants at an adult day center.

AFA provides these grants twice a year to its nonprofit member organizations based on a competitive application process.

“Each of the local programs that we are funding has the ability to make an often overwhelmingly difficult disease more manageable and in doing so improve quality of life for both individuals with the disease and their families,” said Eric J. Hall, AFA’s president and chief executive officer.

Among the grant recipients, the New England Homes for the Deaf, Inc., Danvers, MA, will use the monies to provide professional American Sign Language interpreters to clients so they can better communicate with doctors and other healthcare professionals as part of its new memory loss program. In its grant application, organization officials said they believe that providing the interpreters will minimize an individual’s frustration level and the risk of improper diagnosis and treatment. The program is the first of its kind in the nation, according to the organization.

Another grant will fund the Medical Students as Stewards Program run by the Amarillo Alzheimer’s Academy at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Amarillo. Under this pilot program, the students will act as stewards for families of people with Alzheimer’s disease, make community presentations relative to caregivers’ needs, and publish questions from the public and answers from the students via an “Ask-A-Professional” feature on the academy’s Web site.

Alzheimer’s and Dementia Services of Northern Indiana, South Bend will use its grant to purchase an alert system for its adult day center, called Milton Adult Day Services. The system is designed to prevent elopements by producing a “chirping” alarm when a client wearing a signaling device approaches a monitored door. About 90 percent of the center’s 40 participants have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia and are, therefore, at risk for wandering

Applications for AFA’s next round of bi-annual grants must be post-marked by August 1, 2009. In addition to these grants, AFA filters money back into the community through The Brodsky Grant, which is given to one innovative program or service annually, as well as through family respite care grants and an annual AFA Teens college scholarship.

For more information about AFA membership and grants, call 866-232-8484 or visit www.alzfdn.org.

Currently, as many as 4.5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease. The incidence is expected to triple by mid-century.

The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America is a national nonprofit organization based in New York and made up of 1,200 member organizations that provide hands-on programs to meet the educational, emotional, practical and social needs of families affected by Alzheimer’s disease and related illnesses. AFA’s services include a toll-free hot line, counseling and a free caregiver magazine. For information, call (toll-free) 866-AFA-8484 or visit www.alzfdn.org.

Contact: Carol Steinberg
Phone: 866-AFA-8484