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Local Alzheimer's chapter to oversee $4.5 million grant

The Alzheimer’s Association Western New York Chapter has announced it will oversee a three-year, $4.5 million grant from the state Department of Health to expand dementia caregiving initiatives across Niagara County as well as the other six counties in the region.

The chapter will collaborate with the Niagara County Office for the Aging, as well as Office for the Aging (OFA) partners in Erie, Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Genesee and Wyoming counties.

An estimated 55,000 Western New York residents are living with Alzheimer’s or other dementia, with approximately 165,000 people serving as caregivers, at least part-time. These numbers are expected to rise dramatically over the next 30 years.

Alzheimer’s cannot be prevented, slowed or cured, and current treatments don’t delay the disease’s progression. Experts say providing care partners with an array of support services can ease some of the challenges of caregiving and enhance the lives of those with the disease and their caregivers. These services may 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 Western New York and pleased to be able to provide expanded services for families facing the challenge of dementia,” said Jill Horner, the local Alzheimer’s Chapter’s executive director. “Our outstanding partners in this effort are crucial to the Alzheimer’s Association’s mission and will allow for expanded services across areas that are in most need.”    

The grant will help provide at no cost services such as care consultations, support groups, respite services, safety strategies and educational programs.

The Alzheimer’s Association WNY Chapter, 2805 Wehrle Drive, Suite 6, Williamsville, offers a 24/7 helpline for services and support at 800-272-3900. It offers online resources, including secure sites for caregivers, training for professional care partners and information about local support services at alz.org/WNY.

The Niagara County Office for the Aging, 111 Main St., Suite 101, Lockport, was established in 1973 and helps plan, develop, administer and coordinate the programs, services and supportive facilities that help 47,000 older adults maintain independence. The office may be reached at 438-4020.

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